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Women Health. 2017 Sep 18:1-12. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2017.1372846. [Epub ahead of print]

The tipping point of change in Anorexia Nervosa (AN): Qualitative findings from an online study.

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a School of Medicine , Western Sydney University , Campbelltown , New South Wales , Australia.
b National Institute of Complementary Medicine , Western Sydney University , Campbelltown , New South Wales , Australia.
c School of Nursing and Midwifery , Western Sydney University , Parramatta , New South Wales , Australia.
d Centre for Applied Nursing Research , Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research , Penrith , New South Wales , Australia.



The aim of this study was to understand factors related to treatment and/or recovery from self-reported Anorexia Nervosa (AN), including 'the tipping point of change'.


An online questionnaire was developed and administered from December 2014 to December 2015 to individuals ≥18 years of age with AN in the past or currently who were recruited through eating disorder organizations in Australia and the United Kingdom. Responses to a specific qualitative question on 'the tipping point of change' were analyzed using conventional content analysis (CCA).


One hundred sixty-one participants completed some or all of the questionnaire; only 67 women (41.61%) answered Question six on 'the tipping point of change', and analyses were restricted to data from these women. The themes identified were: 1) realizing the loss of something valuable, 2) the risk of losing something valuable, and 3) something to live for/stay well for.


These results are important for health-care providers as they work with patients to identify life experiences, including 'loss/potential loss' and 'the need for preservation', that have personal significance. Some patients may realize that 'enough is enough'; something needs to change. These intrinsic motivating factors may also be the impetus for eventual recovery for some individuals.


Anorexia Nervosa; tipping point of change

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