Patient Experiences of Treatment for Anorexia nervosa: compLexities and inSights 

PETALS is a longitudinal qualitative research project, in which a smartphone diary app will be used to capture participants’ diary entries on their experiences, thoughts, and feelings throughout intensive treatment for severe anorexia nervosa, in either inpatient or day patient treatment.

Primary qualitative data analysis will be focused around understanding psychological processes underlying the maintenance of and recovery from AN. Secondary analysis methods will use deep learning approaches to natural language processing to investigate whether analysing language used in diary entries can help improve understanding of change processes in AN.

The study is embedded within the DAISIES trial, a National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment funded multi-centred randomised controlled trial which will compare the effectiveness of primarily inpatient treatment for adults with severe anorexia nervosa with a stepped care approach whereby patients are treated in day patient settings, following short inpatient treatment for medical stabilisation if necessary.