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Student nurses and non-healthcare students’ understanding of anorexia nervosa

Ball, Charlotte (2012) Student nurses and non-healthcare students’ understanding of anorexia nervosa. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Previous research has implicated any form of misunderstanding of anorexia, by both healthcare professionals and laypeople to have potentially fatal consequences for anorexia sufferers. This research aimed to establish student nurses’ and non-healthcare students’ understanding of anorexia nervosa by the use of a quantitative questionnaire that both student nurses (N = 50) and non-healthcare students (N = 50) completed. In order to determine different aspects of students’ understanding, questionnaire items were generated from three different sources; the DSM-IV (2000), findings from research literature and popular misconceptions. A 2x3 ANOVA was used to analyse the data and determine main effects of source, student type and an interaction effect. The study also aimed to determine whether a student’s personal, social experience or clinical experience anorexia impacted upon their understanding. Results indicated a main effect of source on understanding, as well a significant interaction effect between source and student, however a main effect of student was not observed. Higher understanding of anorexia was found for students with social and clinical experience of the disease. No group of items was understood entirely, offering support for previous research; however, both groups of students were found to have enhanced understanding to that suggested by earlier findings.

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