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An Exploration of Eating Disorders (Diabulimia) Associated with Type 1 Diabetes.
AuthorRoney, Alicia Marie
AdvisorDeBoor, Stephanie S.
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Incidence of type 1 diabetes continues to increase, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation estimates prevalence will raise from 20% to 23 % between 2001 and 2009 (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation [JDRF], 2015). Those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are at risk for body image disorders due to the increased storage of fat in relation to insulin administration. This association can result in the development of an eating disorder in which insulin administration is reduced or eliminated in efforts to control weight (Hasken, Kresl, Nydegger & Temme, 2010). The a fore-mentioned condition is known as diabulimia; however, this term is not currently recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Diagnosis and treatment of diabulimia is difficult for the primary care provider due to lack of an acceptable diagnosis as well as vague presentation of symptoms. A more holistic understanding of diabulimia and the effects on those with this disorder will aid providers in the complex management of diabulimics. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore, describe, interpret and gain a deeper understanding of the lived experience of individuals with diabulimia. Van Manen's six activities of qualitative inquiry guided this study. A purposeful sample of 2 participants was recruited for this study and despite aggressive recruitment techniques no further participants were included in the study. Semi-structured, face-to-face, audio recorded, interviews were conducted. Colaizzi's 7-step approach was utilized for data analysis. Similarities between participant interviews revealed five common themes and two subthemes which include; (1) mixed messages, (2) management of diabetes, (3) negative effects, (4) diabulimia as an escape/addiction, and (5) barriers to care with the subthemes of (1) lack of facilities and (2) lack of provider knowledge. Knowledge ascertained from this study will allow health care providers to offer a more holistic approach to care for the diabulimic population.