Paper in Qualitative Health Research
  • Dawson, L., Rhodes, P., Touyz, S. (2014). 'doing the impossible': The process of recovery from chronic anorexia nervosa. Qualitative Health Research, 24 ( 4 ) pp. 494 - 505.

    In this study, we aimed to explore the process of recovery over time from the perspective of those who had fully recovered from chronic anorexia nervosa (AN), using stringent recovery criteria. Eight women, assessed as fully recovered from chronic AN, told their story of the process of recovery. Data were analyzed using the qualitative method, narrative inquiry. Recovery was identified as a long and complex process that spanned four phases: from being unable or unready to change, to experiencing a tipping point where motivation increased and changed in quality, allowing the women to take action against the AN and finally allowing them to reflect and rehabilitate. Results provide a framework for understanding this complex process. Findings suggest that full recovery from chronic AN is possible and emphasize the importance of hope, motivation, self-efficacy, and support from others in the recovery process.