• Pooky Knightsmith

Research Paper: what do patients with co-occurring anorexia and autism want from treatment?

I'm delighted to be working with the amazing team at the Maudsley / Institute of Psychiatry to develop a new care pathway for women with co-morbid autism and anorexia. I've had loads of interest in this from people since I've started talking about it so I thought I would share this research paper from the team:


Below is the abstract. You can download the full paper by clicking here.


Research suggests that up to one in four individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) may be on the autistic spectrum, and that these autistic traits may not have been recognized or diagnosed prior to eating disorder (ED) treatment. Significantly, these heightened autistic traits are associ- ated with poorer treatment outcomes, suggesting that treatment may need to be adapted for this population. The purpose of this study was to explore with people with AN on the autistic spectrum their experiences of ED treatment, and their views on what needs to be changed. Women with AN (n1⁄4 13), either with an autism diagnosis or presenting with clinically significant levels of autistic traits, were interviewed on their experiences of treatment and potential improvements. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. The findings suggest that this population experience unique needs associated with their autism that are not being met by standard ED treatments, and recommendations are made for potential future adaptations. Future research into a more systematic approach for treatment adaptations for this population, including education programmes for clinicians, could potentially lead to better treatment experiences.



To refer to this article: Reference: Emma Kinnaird, Caroline Norton, Catherine Stewart & Kate Tchanturia (2019): Same behaviours, different reasons: what do patients with co-occurring anorexia and autism want from treatment?, International Review of Psychiatry

To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/09540261.2018.1531831


You might also be interested in the video in which Gareth Morewood (an expert in autism) interviewed me about my autism and anorexia...



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