Anorexic body: A qualitative study

Chung Yee Zenobia Chan, Joyce Ma

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study attempts to explore the anorexia nervosa (AN) patient's subjective experience in family therapy by employing a qualitative inquiry. The data collection process required the participant to review videotapes of her family sessions and then to write down her thoughts in response to a core research question: "What was your experience of the family therapy sessions?" We tried our best to minimize any possible influence from the research setting. Unexpectedly, a core idea about the anorexic body emerged from the patient's writings. This core idea was divided into four themes: (1) the development of the anorexic body; (2) the anorexic body and body weight; (3) the anorexic body and clothing; (4) maintaining the anorexic body. This study suggests that a qualitative client-driven approach can reveal the AN patient's perceptions of her body. Most importantly, this paper ends by providing recommendations for qualitative researchers: adopting a not-knowing position and being open to learn that knowledge can be found accidentally.
Original languageEnglish
JournalForum Qualitative Sozialforschung
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Body
  • Family therapy
  • Hong Kong
  • Qualitative study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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