Date of Conferral







Kathleen Brewer


AbstractIn Ontario, Canada, eating disorder care is predominately delivered through nurse practitioner-led community outreach programs; however, there is a paucity of evidence informing the role of nurses in terms of outpatient treatment, community-based care, and young adult patient experiences. With high rates of morbidity and mortality, it is imperative to establish an evidence-informed approach to eating disorder treatment and ensure that care is patient-centered. This interpretive phenomenological study explored the experiences of young adults receiving community-based treatment in Ontario. Reigel, Stromberg & Jaarsma’s Middle Range Theory of Self-Care in Chronic Illness was used as an orientating framework. Seven young adults, aged 18-22, who were undergoing community-based treatment for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa across the province were engaged in two asynchronous online focus groups to discuss their experiences. Themes of living with unmet needs, living with supports, and learning to live again emerged from data analysis using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis and constant comparison methods. Participants revealed highly variable community-based treatment experiences, inconsistent delivery and their need to delineate a definition of community-based treatment in future research. Collectively, young adult participants aspired to individualized, holistic, accessible, structured and team-cohesive community-based care in the future. Findings have the potential for positive social change by raising awareness of the unique needs of young adults with eating disorders to inform quality care delivery. Results may also prompt further research inquiry and inform clinicians, organizations and policy makers in their efforts to ensure quality standards in Ontario eating disorder care.