When nutrition as medicine is not medicine enough

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Nina Schrøder
  • Celina Kassow Knudsen
  • Trine Balser Lindstrøm
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis contains a theoretical approach in which it aims to investigate: What kind of treatment is
expressed through the different participants perspectives in the social work with the girls previously
suffering from an eating disorder in the region of Northern Jutland? This thesis takes a
hermeneutic approach to the generation of knowledge because of our interpretive starting point.
This has influenced our research methods, approaches and strategy of analysis. By using a
hermeneutic method of research, we allow the theoretical and empirical material to speak for
themselves, which is why the analysis in this thesis are based on themes, which originates from the
interviewed informers. The informers interviewed in this thesis are three girls previously suffering
from an eating disorder, the chief physician of ‘Enhed for Spiseforstyrrelser’ (Unit for Eating
Disorders) and two social workers from a social residence in the Northern Jutland. Furthermore we
have interviewed three workers from local municipalities by telephone. In the first section of this
thesis, we found through David M. Garner, that there are different ways and reasons of developing
an eating disorder. However, it is common for the three girls interviewed in this thesis that they all
tried to hide their identity as a person suffering from an eating disorder, they all tried to live up to
the expectation from the society, themselves and their surroundings. Furthermore the thesis found
that the mantra of the psychiatric treatment was that nutrition is the medicine. However, we
conclude that there is a need of qualification and improvement in the social work with girls
suffering from an eating disorder. According to Erving Goffman, ‘Enhed for Spiseforstyrrelser’
(Unit for Eating Disorders) can be characterized as a total institution. The need of improvement in
the social work with girls suffering from an eating disorder, come into sight because the girls all
express that they feel neglected and violated in the total institution and they feel that the focus on
nutrition is above all. Moreover, when the girls are at a certain weight they are signed out from the
total institution and they feel lost in the society with nobody to help them. Here we found that the
girls are left to fend for themselves since they are too well to stay at the hospital, but yet they are
too sick to act in the society. However, through the interviews with the local municipalities we
found that there are no initiatives and re-entry to the society for girls coming from ‘Enhed for
Spiseforstyrrelser’ but there certainly is a need for one. Thus, the thesis concludes that nutrition as
medicine is not medicine enough, but instead there is a need for a much more holistic social work.
LanguageDanish
Publication date2017
ID: 261174823