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Perception of patients with eating disorders about the support group

Grant number: 14/19081-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2015
Effective date (End): December 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Psychological Treatment and Prevention
Principal Investigator:Manoel Antônio dos Santos
Grantee:Julia Ribeiro
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Eating disorders (ED) are a group of serious eating disorders, which are subdivided into Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and Binge-Eating Disorder. The multifactorial etiology includes familial factors. Because it is a psychopathology that can develop into a chronic condition, the question of adherence to treatment is considered a critical point, requiring multidisciplinary care and the involvement and active participation of the family included as part of the treatment plan (the) patients. With the reorientation of the health care model, psychological treatment in group mode, in particular support groups in the outpatient setting, have been suggested as strategies to be used by health services. However, little is known about the perception of the participants about these groups, which require investments in research to clarify the relevance given to the group by those who participate in it and support it, circumscribing its limits and its potential. It is hypothesized that the involvement of patients in ED treatment as a whole may be potentiated by these groups, which would increase the motivation to remain in treatment and recovering from their symptoms. It is also believed that the therapeutic alliance is well established and there is genuine patient involvement in the treatment plan, patients may feel protected and supported to meet the challenges and ambivalences that lie at the crossing of their treatment. Given these assumptions, the present study aims to investigate the perception of patients with TAs about support groups in which they participate. It is a clinical-qualitative study. All patients diagnosed with AN and BN who participate in the weekly meetings of support groups will be included. This is a study of qualitative, descriptive and exploratory approach, cross-sectional. The convenience sample will consist of patients affected by ED, linked to a specialized service of a university hospital. Complementing the clinical-qualitative methodological framework conceptualizing the critical incident will be used. The theoretical framework to be used for the data analysis is the systematization of therapeutic factors proposed by Yalom. Data collection will be used in a Form Socio-Demographic Data and the Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ), with the purpose of evaluating the strengths and difficulties perceived by (the) patients during the support group. Interviews will be conducted individually, in face to face situation, along a single row at the end of the group session meeting. Interviews will be audiogravadas upon authorization of the participants. After data collection, the content will be audiogravado transcribed literally and in full. Subsequently, the data will be subjected to thematic content analysis. To do so, we will investigate the perspective from which participants understand the shared group, in terms of feelings, thoughts and behaviors awakened situations. It is believed that the resulting knowledge can favor the development of intervention strategies and the development of new practices in care provided by health professionals to patients with ED and their families.

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