Measuring Subjective Experience of Naturopathic Medicine Among Women with Disordered Eating: A Mixed Methods Study

Principal Investigator: Corina Dunlap, ND

Student Investigator: Erin Conlon

Abstract: Emerging evidence suggests that the poor outcomes for eating disorders may be explained by treatments that do not address fundamental patient needs.1 Thus, there is a need to explore alternative models of care that may be more appropriate to meet the needs of persons with eating disorders. The goal of this study is to measure the subjective experiences of women receiving naturopathic care for treatment of eating disorders in order to determine if naturopathic medicine is a patient-centered model for this group. The Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire 6.0 and Short Form Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire, along with five open-response questions designed specifically for this study will be administered to approximately 40 female participants with an eating disorder who have received care from a naturopathic physician. The quantitative questionnaire data will be analyzed statistically using SPSS and the open-responses will be analyzed thematically using Dedoose qualitative research software. Because understanding how patients experience healthcare services can be a key component to improving care, it is hoped that the results of this study will contribute to efforts to advance treatment options for eating disorders and thus improve outcomes.