Korean J Adult Nurs.  2015 Dec;27(6):695-706. 10.7475/kjan.2015.27.6.695.

Disease Experience of Korean Women with Eating Disorders

  • 1Department of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, Cheongju University, Cheongju, Korea. dhan@cju.ac.kr


This study was aimed to explore and describe the disease experience of Korean women with eating disorders within psychological and sociocultural context.
The participants were 12 young adult women suffering with eating disorders or have recovered from the diseases. Data were collected via in-depth interviews and analyzed according to the grounded theory methodology by Strauss and Corbin.
The core category of the disease experience was 'becoming the master of life through desperate efforts'. The disease experience was categorized into five different phases including 'falling under the influence of others', 'collapsing the self: life swallowed by loosening weight', 'facing the wrecked self', 'struggling between the self and others', 'truly facing the self'. The intervening conditions were various supporting systems such as 'support from family', 'economic support' and 'support from trustworthy health professionals'.
The findings of this study indicate that it is necessary to develop nursing interventions to support women with eating disorders and alleviate their suffering from eating disorders. Also specialized educational programs are warranted to prevent the eating disorders, and to reduce social stigma of eating disorders.

MeSH Terms

Feeding and Eating Disorders*
Qualitative Research
Social Stigma
Young Adult


  • Figure 1 Process model of disease experience of Korean women with eating disorders.


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