Understanding the whole person
This chapter presents a case study of the Rose. Rose’s story is an example of how these diverse factors intersect to impact on the life of a child, adolescent and young woman. In her own voice, Rose tells of the experiences and circumstances which contributed to the development of her eating disorder and served to exacerbate existing symptoms. A patient-centered view of eating disorders requires an approach which focuses on the individual’s unique story in the development of and recovery from anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. In the patient-centered approach, the clinician needs to be familiar with the patient’s ethnicity and membership in cultural subgroups related to social class, gender, sexual preference, marital status, educational level and occupation. The norms and values attached to these subgroups affect how the patient and her family conceptualize the eating disorder in terms of causation, treatment options, reactions to emotional, behavioral and physical symptoms and expectations of the healthcare system.