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Social support networks and eating disorders: An integrative review of the literature


Aims: This study aimed to synthesize the scientific literature about social networks and social support in eating disorders (ED). Methods: Through a combination of descriptors, an integrative review was performed. It included publications from 2006 to 2013, retrieved from MedLine, LILACS, PsycINFO and CINAHL databases. Selection of articles was based on pre-established inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: 24 articles were selected for data extraction. There was a predominance of studies with non-experimental and descriptive designs, published in international journals. This review evidenced that there is still no fully consolidated literature regarding social support and social networks in patients with ED, given the small number of studies dedicated to the subject. We identified evidence that the family social network of patients with ED has been widely explored by the literature, although there is a lack of studies about other networks and sources of social support outside the family. Conclusions: The evidence presented in this study shows the need to include other social networks in health care. This expansion beyond family network would include significant others - such as friends, colleagues, neighbors, people from religious groups, among others -, who could help the individual coping with the disorder. The study also highlights the need for future research on the topic and greater investment in publications on the various dimensions of social support and social networks. (AU)

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(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
LEONIDAS, CAROLINA; DOS SANTOS, MANOEL ANTONIO. Social support networks and eating disorders: an integrative review of the literature. NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISEASE AND TREATMENT, v. 10, p. 915-927, . (14/03918-1)

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