Exploring attitudes toward eating disorders among elite athlete support personnel

S McArdle, M M Meade, P Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To date, little is known about the beliefs, attitudes, and experiences of athlete support personnel (ASP) working in elite sport toward disordered eating (DE) and eating disorders (EDs). This study seeks to explore this area of mental health, employing an attribution model of stigma as a conceptual lens. Interviews were undertaken with 14 service providers (seven males and seven females) working in high-performance sport in Ireland. In contrast to previous research in the general population, findings revealed that sport-based personnel, in the main, did not hold the individual responsible for the development of their eating disorder. The predominant emotional response of those who had worked with an athlete with a known or suspected eating disorder was anxiety and worry. In line with the findings of previous studies with other health professionals, negative views on the prognosis of those with EDs were expressed by the ASP. Furthermore,confidentiality was found to be a significant barrier to bringing athletes’ disclosure of problematiceating or exercise behavior to the fore. The findings of this study add to the limited research exploring attitudes toward EDs in sport and highlights the importance of greater education and openness toward this particular mental health problem.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1117-1127
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Volume26
Early online date1 Jul 2015
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2015

Fingerprint

Athletes
Sports
Mental Health
Athletic Performance
Confidentiality
Disclosure
Ireland
Research
Lenses
Anxiety
Eating
Feeding and Eating Disorders
Interviews
Exercise
Education
Health
Population

Keywords

  • Eating disorder

Cite this

@article{f35229c132c84660aef7c0ae064cff5d,
title = "Exploring attitudes toward eating disorders among elite athlete support personnel",
abstract = "To date, little is known about the beliefs, attitudes, and experiences of athlete support personnel (ASP) working in elite sport toward disordered eating (DE) and eating disorders (EDs). This study seeks to explore this area of mental health, employing an attribution model of stigma as a conceptual lens. Interviews were undertaken with 14 service providers (seven males and seven females) working in high-performance sport in Ireland. In contrast to previous research in the general population, findings revealed that sport-based personnel, in the main, did not hold the individual responsible for the development of their eating disorder. The predominant emotional response of those who had worked with an athlete with a known or suspected eating disorder was anxiety and worry. In line with the findings of previous studies with other health professionals, negative views on the prognosis of those with EDs were expressed by the ASP. Furthermore,confidentiality was found to be a significant barrier to bringing athletes’ disclosure of problematiceating or exercise behavior to the fore. The findings of this study add to the limited research exploring attitudes toward EDs in sport and highlights the importance of greater education and openness toward this particular mental health problem.",
keywords = "Eating disorder",
author = "S McArdle and Meade, {M M} and P Moore",
note = "Reference text: Angermeyer MC, Matschinger H. Have their been any changes in the public’s attitudes towards psychiatric treatment? Results from representative population surveys in Germany in the years 1990 and 2001. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2005: 111: 68–73. Beaumont PJV. Clinical presentation of AN & BN. In: Fairburn CG, Brownell KD, eds. EDs and obesity. New York: The Guilford Press, 2005: 162–170. Bratland-Sanda S, Sundgot-Borgen J. Eating disorders in athletes: overview of prevalence, risk factors and recommendations for prevention and treatment. Eur J Sport Sci 2013: 13: 499–508. Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol 2006: 3: 77–101. Corrigan PW, River LP, Lundin RK, Wasowski KU, Campion J, Marthisen J, Goldstein H, Bergman M, Gagnon C, Kubiak MA. Stigmatizing attributes about mental illness. J Community Psychol 2000: 291: 91–102. Crisp AH, Gelfer MG, Rix S, Meltzer HI, Rowlands OJ. Stigmatisation of people with mental illnesses. Brit J Psychol 2000: 177: 4–7. Crocker J, Major B, Steele C. Social stigma. In: Fiske S, Gilbert D, Lindzey G, eds. Handbook of social psychology. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998: 504–533. Currin L, Waller G, Schmidt U. Primary care physicians’ knowledge of and attitudes toward the eating disorders: do they affect clinical actions? Int J Eat Disord 2009: 42: 453–458. Fairburn CG. Cognitive behavior therapy and eating disorders. New York: The Guilford Press, 2008. Fairburn CG, Cooper Z, Doll HA, Norman P, O’Connor M. The natural course of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder in young women. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2000: 57: 659–665. Fairburn CG, Harrison PJ. Eating disorders. Lancet 2003: 361: 407–416. Fleming J, Szmukler GI. Attitudes of medical professionals towards patients with eating disorders. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 1992: 26: 436–443. Gray AJ. Stigma in psychiatry. J R Soc Med 2002: 95: 72–76. Gulliver A, Griffiths KM, Christensen H. Barriers and facilitators to mental health help-seeking for young elite athletes: a qualitative study. BMC Psychiatry 2012: 12: 157. Herzog DB, Hopkins JD, Burns CD. A follow-up study of 33 subdiagnostic eating disordered women. Int J Eat Disord 1993: 14: 261–267. Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG, Kessler RC. The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biol Psychiatry 2007: 61 (3): 348–358. Huon GF, Lim J, Gunewardene A. Social influences and female adolescent dieting. J Adolesc 2000: 23: 229–232. Levine MP, Smolak L, Hayden H. The relation of sociocultural factors to eating attitudes and behaviors among middle school girls. J Early Adolesc 1994: 14: 471–490. Lundberg B, Hansson L, Wentz E, Bjorkman T. Sociodemographic and clinical factors related to devaluation/discrimination and rejection experiences among users of mental health services. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2007: 42: 295–300. Mills J, Bonner A, Francis K. The development of constructivist grounded theory. Int J Qual Res 2006: 5: 1–10. Mond JM, Arrighi A. Gender differences in perceptions of the severity and prevalence of eating disorders. Early Interv Psychiatry 2011: 5: 41–49. Mountjoy M, Sundgot-Borgen J, Burke L, Carter S, Constantini N, Lebrun C, Meyer N, Sherman R, Stefffan K, Budgett R, Ljungqvist A. The IOC consensus statement: beyond the Female Athlete Triad-Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). Br J Sports Med 2014: 48: 491–497. NICE National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Eating disorders: core interventions in the treatment and management of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and related eating disorders. NICE Clinical Guideline CG9. 2004. NICE: London. Scambler G. Re-framing stigma: felt and enacted stigma and challenges to the sociology of chronic and disabling conditions. Soc Theory Health 2004: 2: 29–46. Shisslak CM, Crago M, Estes LS. The spectrum of eating disturbances. Int J Eat Disord 1995: 18: 209–219. Smink FR, van Hoeken D, Hoek HW. Epidemiology of eating disorders: incidence, prevalence and mortality rates. Curr Psychiatry Rep 2012: 14: 406–414. Stice E. Risk and maintenance factors for eating pathology: a meta-analytic review. Psychol Bull 2002: 128: 825–848. Sundgot-Borgen J, Garthe I. Elite athletes in aesthetic and Olympic weight-class sports and the challenge of body weight and body compositions. J Sports Sci 2011: 29 (S1): S101–S114. Sundgot-Borgen J, Meyer NL, Lohman T, Ackland TR, Maughan RJ, Stewart AD, Muller W. How to minimize the health risks to athletes who compete in weight-sensitive sports review and position statement on behalf of the Ad Hoc Research Working Group on Body Composition, Health and Performance, under the auspices of the IOC Medical Commission. Br J Sports Med 2013: 47: 1012–1022. Sundgot-Borgen J, Torstveit MK. Prevalence of eating disorders in elite athletes is higher than in the general population. Clin J Sport Med 2004: 14 (1): 25–32. Thompson-Brenner H, Satir DA, Franko DI, Herzog DB. Clinician reactions to patients with eating disorders: a review of the literature. Psychol Serv 2012: 63: 73–78. Thomson S, Marriott M, Telford K, Law H, McLaughlin J, Sayal K. Adolescents with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa: parents; experience of recognition and deciding to seek help. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry 2014: 19: 43–57. Trattner Sherman R, Thompson RA, Dehass D, Wilfert M. NCAA coaches survey: the role of the coach in identifying and managing athletes with disordered eating. Eat Disord 2005: 13: 447–466. Treasure J, Alexander J. Anorexia nervosa. A recovery guide for sufferers, families and friends. 2nd edn. London: Routledge, 2013. Treasure J, Crane A, McKnight R, Buchanan E, Wolfe M. First do no harm: iatrogenic maintaining factors in anorexia nervosa. Eur Eat Disord Rev 2011: 19: 296–302. Turk JC, Prentice WE, Chappell S, Shields EW Jr. Collegiate coaches’ knowledge of eating disorders. J Athl Train 1999: 34: 19–24. Tury F, Gulec H, Kohls E. Assessment methods for eating disorders and body image disorders. J Psychosom Res 2010: 69: 601–611. Vaughan JL, King KA, Cottrell RR. Collegiate athletic trainers’ confidence in helping female athletes with eating disorders. J Athl Train 2004: 39: 71–76.",
year = "2015",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/sms.12515",
language = "English",
volume = "26",
pages = "1117--1127",
journal = "Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports",
issn = "0905-7188",

}

Exploring attitudes toward eating disorders among elite athlete support personnel. / McArdle, S; Meade, M M; Moore, P.

In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, Vol. 26, 01.07.2015, p. 1117-1127.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploring attitudes toward eating disorders among elite athlete support personnel

AU - McArdle, S

AU - Meade, M M

AU - Moore, P

N1 - Reference text: Angermeyer MC, Matschinger H. Have their been any changes in the public’s attitudes towards psychiatric treatment? Results from representative population surveys in Germany in the years 1990 and 2001. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2005: 111: 68–73. Beaumont PJV. Clinical presentation of AN & BN. In: Fairburn CG, Brownell KD, eds. EDs and obesity. New York: The Guilford Press, 2005: 162–170. Bratland-Sanda S, Sundgot-Borgen J. Eating disorders in athletes: overview of prevalence, risk factors and recommendations for prevention and treatment. Eur J Sport Sci 2013: 13: 499–508. Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol 2006: 3: 77–101. Corrigan PW, River LP, Lundin RK, Wasowski KU, Campion J, Marthisen J, Goldstein H, Bergman M, Gagnon C, Kubiak MA. Stigmatizing attributes about mental illness. J Community Psychol 2000: 291: 91–102. Crisp AH, Gelfer MG, Rix S, Meltzer HI, Rowlands OJ. Stigmatisation of people with mental illnesses. Brit J Psychol 2000: 177: 4–7. Crocker J, Major B, Steele C. Social stigma. In: Fiske S, Gilbert D, Lindzey G, eds. Handbook of social psychology. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998: 504–533. Currin L, Waller G, Schmidt U. Primary care physicians’ knowledge of and attitudes toward the eating disorders: do they affect clinical actions? Int J Eat Disord 2009: 42: 453–458. Fairburn CG. Cognitive behavior therapy and eating disorders. New York: The Guilford Press, 2008. Fairburn CG, Cooper Z, Doll HA, Norman P, O’Connor M. The natural course of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder in young women. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2000: 57: 659–665. Fairburn CG, Harrison PJ. Eating disorders. Lancet 2003: 361: 407–416. Fleming J, Szmukler GI. Attitudes of medical professionals towards patients with eating disorders. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 1992: 26: 436–443. Gray AJ. Stigma in psychiatry. J R Soc Med 2002: 95: 72–76. Gulliver A, Griffiths KM, Christensen H. Barriers and facilitators to mental health help-seeking for young elite athletes: a qualitative study. BMC Psychiatry 2012: 12: 157. Herzog DB, Hopkins JD, Burns CD. A follow-up study of 33 subdiagnostic eating disordered women. Int J Eat Disord 1993: 14: 261–267. Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG, Kessler RC. The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biol Psychiatry 2007: 61 (3): 348–358. Huon GF, Lim J, Gunewardene A. Social influences and female adolescent dieting. J Adolesc 2000: 23: 229–232. Levine MP, Smolak L, Hayden H. The relation of sociocultural factors to eating attitudes and behaviors among middle school girls. J Early Adolesc 1994: 14: 471–490. Lundberg B, Hansson L, Wentz E, Bjorkman T. Sociodemographic and clinical factors related to devaluation/discrimination and rejection experiences among users of mental health services. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2007: 42: 295–300. Mills J, Bonner A, Francis K. The development of constructivist grounded theory. Int J Qual Res 2006: 5: 1–10. Mond JM, Arrighi A. Gender differences in perceptions of the severity and prevalence of eating disorders. Early Interv Psychiatry 2011: 5: 41–49. Mountjoy M, Sundgot-Borgen J, Burke L, Carter S, Constantini N, Lebrun C, Meyer N, Sherman R, Stefffan K, Budgett R, Ljungqvist A. The IOC consensus statement: beyond the Female Athlete Triad-Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). Br J Sports Med 2014: 48: 491–497. NICE National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Eating disorders: core interventions in the treatment and management of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and related eating disorders. NICE Clinical Guideline CG9. 2004. NICE: London. Scambler G. Re-framing stigma: felt and enacted stigma and challenges to the sociology of chronic and disabling conditions. Soc Theory Health 2004: 2: 29–46. Shisslak CM, Crago M, Estes LS. The spectrum of eating disturbances. Int J Eat Disord 1995: 18: 209–219. Smink FR, van Hoeken D, Hoek HW. Epidemiology of eating disorders: incidence, prevalence and mortality rates. Curr Psychiatry Rep 2012: 14: 406–414. Stice E. Risk and maintenance factors for eating pathology: a meta-analytic review. Psychol Bull 2002: 128: 825–848. Sundgot-Borgen J, Garthe I. Elite athletes in aesthetic and Olympic weight-class sports and the challenge of body weight and body compositions. J Sports Sci 2011: 29 (S1): S101–S114. Sundgot-Borgen J, Meyer NL, Lohman T, Ackland TR, Maughan RJ, Stewart AD, Muller W. How to minimize the health risks to athletes who compete in weight-sensitive sports review and position statement on behalf of the Ad Hoc Research Working Group on Body Composition, Health and Performance, under the auspices of the IOC Medical Commission. Br J Sports Med 2013: 47: 1012–1022. Sundgot-Borgen J, Torstveit MK. Prevalence of eating disorders in elite athletes is higher than in the general population. Clin J Sport Med 2004: 14 (1): 25–32. Thompson-Brenner H, Satir DA, Franko DI, Herzog DB. Clinician reactions to patients with eating disorders: a review of the literature. Psychol Serv 2012: 63: 73–78. Thomson S, Marriott M, Telford K, Law H, McLaughlin J, Sayal K. Adolescents with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa: parents; experience of recognition and deciding to seek help. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry 2014: 19: 43–57. Trattner Sherman R, Thompson RA, Dehass D, Wilfert M. NCAA coaches survey: the role of the coach in identifying and managing athletes with disordered eating. Eat Disord 2005: 13: 447–466. Treasure J, Alexander J. Anorexia nervosa. A recovery guide for sufferers, families and friends. 2nd edn. London: Routledge, 2013. Treasure J, Crane A, McKnight R, Buchanan E, Wolfe M. First do no harm: iatrogenic maintaining factors in anorexia nervosa. Eur Eat Disord Rev 2011: 19: 296–302. Turk JC, Prentice WE, Chappell S, Shields EW Jr. Collegiate coaches’ knowledge of eating disorders. J Athl Train 1999: 34: 19–24. Tury F, Gulec H, Kohls E. Assessment methods for eating disorders and body image disorders. J Psychosom Res 2010: 69: 601–611. Vaughan JL, King KA, Cottrell RR. Collegiate athletic trainers’ confidence in helping female athletes with eating disorders. J Athl Train 2004: 39: 71–76.

PY - 2015/7/1

Y1 - 2015/7/1

N2 - To date, little is known about the beliefs, attitudes, and experiences of athlete support personnel (ASP) working in elite sport toward disordered eating (DE) and eating disorders (EDs). This study seeks to explore this area of mental health, employing an attribution model of stigma as a conceptual lens. Interviews were undertaken with 14 service providers (seven males and seven females) working in high-performance sport in Ireland. In contrast to previous research in the general population, findings revealed that sport-based personnel, in the main, did not hold the individual responsible for the development of their eating disorder. The predominant emotional response of those who had worked with an athlete with a known or suspected eating disorder was anxiety and worry. In line with the findings of previous studies with other health professionals, negative views on the prognosis of those with EDs were expressed by the ASP. Furthermore,confidentiality was found to be a significant barrier to bringing athletes’ disclosure of problematiceating or exercise behavior to the fore. The findings of this study add to the limited research exploring attitudes toward EDs in sport and highlights the importance of greater education and openness toward this particular mental health problem.

AB - To date, little is known about the beliefs, attitudes, and experiences of athlete support personnel (ASP) working in elite sport toward disordered eating (DE) and eating disorders (EDs). This study seeks to explore this area of mental health, employing an attribution model of stigma as a conceptual lens. Interviews were undertaken with 14 service providers (seven males and seven females) working in high-performance sport in Ireland. In contrast to previous research in the general population, findings revealed that sport-based personnel, in the main, did not hold the individual responsible for the development of their eating disorder. The predominant emotional response of those who had worked with an athlete with a known or suspected eating disorder was anxiety and worry. In line with the findings of previous studies with other health professionals, negative views on the prognosis of those with EDs were expressed by the ASP. Furthermore,confidentiality was found to be a significant barrier to bringing athletes’ disclosure of problematiceating or exercise behavior to the fore. The findings of this study add to the limited research exploring attitudes toward EDs in sport and highlights the importance of greater education and openness toward this particular mental health problem.

KW - Eating disorder

U2 - 10.1111/sms.12515

DO - 10.1111/sms.12515

M3 - Article

VL - 26

SP - 1117

EP - 1127

JO - Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports

T2 - Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports

JF - Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports

SN - 0905-7188

ER -