Chinese Family Members' Views on Anorexia Nervosa and Family Therapy

Chung Yee Zenobia Chan, Joyce L.C. Ma

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Family practice has been reported to be one of the most effective and pivotal means for helping patients suffering from anorexia nervosa, and also for supporting the afflicted families. However, there is only scant description on these families' views with rich narratives toward family treatment in Chinese contexts. This chapter shows a qualitative study aimed at exploring the patients suffering from anorexia nervosa and their family's experience with family therapy; to reveal their impressions of the therapist, and to find out the possible changes which took place as a result of having a family therapist help with family relationships or other aspects of their life. Four families were invited to participate in the post-treatment interview and each individual family's unique experience was revealed. Based on the families' views toward the course of family treatment, implications for family practice were proposed: (1) engaging the families at the first encounter; (2) involving and supporting the parents; (3) believing change is possible; (4) viewing the symptoms in the family context, and (5) making the mother visible. To conclude, in the post-treatment interviews with the four families, the parents said that they found family therapy a suitable context for all family members to express their views of anorexia nervosa.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth Issues in Chinese Contexts
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781536112177
ISBN (Print)9781608761784
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Family practice
  • Hong Kong
  • Qualitative study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)


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