Adult and child and adolescent psychiatrists’ experiences of transition in anorexia nervosa : a qualitative study
Auteurs : A. Stocker, L. Rosenthal, L. Mesquida, J.-P. Raynaud, A. Revet
Référence : Journal of Eating Disorders (10/92, 2022)
Young patients suffering from anorexia nervosa (AN) frequently need further treatment in Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS). The transition period from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to AMHS is a critical time, with a high risk of disengagement from healthcare. We explored physicians’ perspectives of the transition to triangulate the multiple perspectives of physicians, parents and those with a lived AN experience to more comprehensively characterize the challenges in this process of treatment transition.
Using purposive sampling, we recruited 16 physicians confronted with transition in AN (adult psychiatrists, child and adolescent psychiatrists and pediatrician) and conducted semi-structured interviews, which were anonymized, transcribed, and analyzed following the reflexive thematic analysis framework.
Our analysis produced three main themes. First, a shared agreement on the transition’s malfunction, where participants depicted transition as a dissatisfying, violent event. Second, the conception of AN as a disorder with specific needs, challenging the transition process especially regarding physicians’ engagement. Finally, the ideal transition conceived as a serene experience of separation, with unanimous agreement on the necessity to start the transition depending on patients’ needs rather than their age, in order to turn transitions into moments of care.
Our results are in line with other qualitative research studying transition in AN and in other chronic diseases, either focusing on the experience of healthcare workers, families, or patients. Our research shows transition in AN as an anxiety-inducing experience for physicians, patients and families alike. Moreover, we highlight a gap in the way physicians perceive and assist the patient’s greater autonomy, depending on their specialty. Helping physicians to manage their patient’s autonomy, which is a cornerstone of the transition readiness concept, could be a very efficient way to improve transitions in AN.
Plain English summary
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a severe disease, which most of the time starts during adolescence. Transition from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to Adult Mental Health Services is at risk of disengagement from healthcare. In order to better understand this process, we interviewed expert physicians about their experiences of transition in AN using a qualitative thematic analysis which highlighted three main themes. First, a shared agreement on the transition’s malfunction. Second, the conception of AN as a disorder with specific needs challenging the transition process. Finally, the ideal transition conceived as a serene experience of separation, which needs to be started depending on patients’ needs rather than their age. We also show differences in the way physicians perceive and assist the patient’s greater autonomy acquired during the transition. Helping physicians to support their patients in acquiring autonomy, which is a cornerstone of the transition readiness concept, could be a very efficient way to improve transitions in AN.
- 8 juillet 2022