Girls Growing Up: A Feasibility and Acceptability Study to Explore the Antecedents of Anorexia Nervosa in Girls Aged 7 to 17Willis R1, Fuller J2, Kathuria L3, Khan S4, Mitchell F5, Mudenha J6 and Morris J7*
3Speciality Registrar Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Paediatric Liaison Psychiatry Team, Ward 6B, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Dalnair Street, Yorkhill, Glasgow, G3 8 SJ, United Kingdom
7Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS Grampian, Honorary Senior Lecturer University of Aberdeen, Honorary Fellow Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, The Eden Unit, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Cornhill Road, Aberdeen, AB25 2 ZH, United Kingdom
- *Corresponding Author:
- Jane Morris
Honorary Senior Lecturer University of Aberdeen
Honorary Fellow Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh
The Eden Unit, Royal Cornhill Hospital
Cornhill Road, Aberdeen
AB25 2 ZH, United Kingdom
Tel: 01224 557769
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: February 11, 2015; Accepted Date: March 30, 2015; Published Date: April 02, 2015
Citation: Willis R, Fuller J, Kathuria L, Khan S, Morris J, et al. (2015) Girls Growing Up: A Feasibility and Acceptability Study to Explore the Antecedents of Anorexia Nervosa in Girls Aged 7 to 17. J Child Adolesc Behav 3:199 doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000199
Copyright: © 2015 R Willis, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Abstract Objective: Prospective longitudinal research into the antecedents of anorexia nervosa (AN) is required to identify targets for prevention, early detection and treatment. Such research is hampered by the low natural incidence of AN, and the ethical complexities of research with children. A number of risk factors have been identified, but the relationship between these and the development and maintenance of AN remains unclear. To date, prospective studies have had insufficient power to differentiate risk factors from consequences of AN. The proposed “Girls Growing Up: The Antecedents of Anorexia Nervosa” study aims to identify predictors of AN and protective factors by prospectively tracking the progress of healthy genetically high risk individuals and controls. A proposed pilot study will first discover whether a series of likely physical and psychometric measures are acceptable to subjects and their families and will additionally assess whether high risk and control subjects differ at baseline on any of these measures. The present study assesses the feasibility and acceptability of the proposed research protocol by use of buzz-groups to ascertain perceptions, opinions and ideas of potential recruits. Method: Seven buzz-groups (focus groups) were held with schoolgirls aged seven to 17, parents and teachers recruited from a co-educational school. The proposed protocol was presented as a narrated storyboard demonstrating an example research day of a fictional study participant. Group discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed in terms of study location, acceptability of measurements, recruitment and retention. Results: The proposed protocol was broadly acceptable to all participants. Participants provided collaborative input to the study design, including: a strong preference for female researchers; discussion about the acceptability of proposed physical and psychosocial measures; a preference for a choice of study location; the suggestion of provision of a detailed timetable to reduce anxiety; and agreement that it is appropriate to advertise to parents of under-12s, but to 12 to 17 year olds in their own right. They also renamed the study and suggested means of recruitment. Conclusion: The proposed methodology was deemed acceptable to the target group. Buzz-groups proved invaluable in exploring opinions, influencing the proposed research protocol and highlighting the value of involvement of potential participants in preparatory stages of research, particularly into the sensitive field of eating disorders.