Young people’s experience of individual cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) in an inpatient eating disorder service: a qualitative study

Lucia Giombini, Sophie Nesbitt, Lauren Waples, Emilia Finazzi, Abigail Easter, Kate Tchanturia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction and Purpose
Current literature shows promising results regarding the efficacy of Cognitive Remediation Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa (AN); however, there is a paucity of studies considering the use of CRT in Young People (YP). The aim of this study was to examine YP’s experiences of individual CRT in an inpatient eating disorder unit.
Seventy letters following a cycle of eight individual CRT sessions were analysed using thematic analysis, adopting an inductive approach. Inter-rater reliability of findings was ensured.
The following six higher-order themes, each with lower-order themes, were identified: engaging aspects of CRT; identifying thinking skills; relevance to real-life situations; encountering personal challenges; making sense of the rational of CRT; suggestions for further improvements. YP reported enjoying CRT and described increased learning about their thinking styles and their skills from the activities undertaken during therapy. Some participants were able to apply learning outside of therapy and less frequently to difficulties related to the illness.
Feedback from patients suggests CRT is a useful intervention for YP with AN, which could facilitate their engagement in the treatment, while tackling neuropsychological processes underlying psychological symptoms of AN. Exploring participants’ experience of CRT has highlighted specific elements of the intervention perceived as beneficial by YP, and areas where adaption could be made. This will allow clinicians to further develop the intervention from a service users’ perspective, tailoring the sessions to their needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-505
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2017

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