Participants sought for nurse-led research into eating disorders

August 22, 2023

I am a registered nurse looking for people affected by eating disorders, and their family members, for my PhD research.

I work in Dunedin, having graduated with a MNSc  from Otago University in 2020. I am also a PhD student enrolled with the department of psychological medicine and the centre for postgraduate nursing studies at the University of Otago (Christchurch).


I am undertaking my PhD with both affected individuals and family members of those with an eating disorder in New Zealand. My aim is to gather their experiences and expert knowledge to better understand the impacts of eating disorders on family dynamics and relationships.

My master’s thesis focused specifically on the impacts of eating disorders on carers of affected individuals. It was clear from that work that families are challenged by the intensive demands of diagnosis and treatment, and that there is a perceived lack of support for both the affected individual and other family members. Hence the PhD was proposed and I am a year into that journey with the excellent support of my supervisors, associate professor Jenny Jordan and Dr Henrietta Trip.

I am now recruiting for participants in these sub-studies:

1) affected individuals (AIs) and a primary caregiver nominated by the AI;

2) fathers or other adult family members of AIs;

3) siblings of AIs.

The design of the research is qualitative. I aim to recruit between 10 and 15 participants for each of these demographic groups. Each participant will be interviewed twice — once at the time of recruitment and once six months later. The interviews are expected to take around an hour and at each interview participants will receive a small koha in acknowledgement of their time.

For anyone who is interested, I can provide further information about the study. Please contacted me at [email protected] or 021-2791921.

Louise Fletcher, RN, MNSc,