How should we talk about eating disorders? A Delphi expert consensus study
La Trobe University
The purpose of this study is to gather expert opinion on ways to talk about eating disorders in community settings (i.e. schools, universities, workplaces, sports clubs) that a) reduce eating disorder stigma, b) increase knowledge about eating disorders, and c) do not cause or worsen any disordered eating/body image problems. The results will form the basis for a document of guidelines on how to talk about eating disorders in the community, which will be available to the public.
Individuals with an expertise in eating disorders and are 18 years of age or over. Expertise might be from working in the field of eating disorders (for instance, a clinician, researcher, community educator or support worker), or from working/volunteering in an advocacy role as someone recovered from an eating disorder (fully recovered for at least two years with no significant eating disorder thoughts or behaviours).
You are being asked to complete three rounds of an online questionnaire over a period of approximately four months. The first round will be the longest and will take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete. Specifically, you will be asked to rate items that describe what a talk about eating disorders for community groups should include and how likely this content is to contribute to reduced stigma, increased knowledge, or risk for an increase in eating disorder symptoms in the intended audience. You will also be given the option to elaborate on the reasons for your answers. You will also be asked to complete demographic information (occupation/role within the field, whether you have lived experience of ED, age, gender, country of residence).
After the first round questionnaire, each item will be categorised as endorsed as a guideline (if 80% of all participants agree the item is important), re-rating required (70-79% of participants agree the item is important) or rejected as a guideline (less than 70% of participants agree the item is required in the guidelines).
You will then be emailed a report that will show the outcome for each item. For each of the items requiring re-rating, your report will show how your responses compare to that of the group. You may then decide to change or maintain your rating in the subsequent round.
This process is repeated in subsequent rounds until only items with a high level of agreement between participants remain. There will be fewer items in each subsequent round, requiring less participation time for each questionnaire.