The University of Newcastle, Australia

Help Make Sense of Eating Disorders

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Researchers at the University of Newcastle (UON) are investigating how people with history of an eating disorder experience sensory information (taste, touch, smell).

Eating disorders impact around 15 per cent of the population, and remain difficult to treat.

Dr Elysa Roberts and Associate Professor Alison Lane are working on a project with Occupational Therapy student Caitlin Argent-Schulz to explore the relationship between sensory features and eating disorders in people who are recovering from an eating disorder.

Sensory features are identified as a functional difference in complex conditions such as schizophrenia and autism, but are less studied in eating disorders.

Preliminary findings indicate that there is a correlation between sensory features, anxiety and the risk of eating disorders – and this needs further exploration.

“If we can identify sensory profiles in people with eating disorders we can then look to customise our approach to treatment of people with eating disorders based on sensory symptoms,” Dr Roberts explains.

The team is calling for participants aged 18 years and over who have, or are recovering from, an eating disorder.

This is an international study calling for participants from anywhere in the world.

An anonymous, 30 minute online survey will ask questions about lifestyle, eating behaviours, experience with an eating disorder, styles of thinking, sensory preferences and attitudes and responses to stress.

To find out more about the study, read the Participant Information Statement.

To participate in the study, click here.


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