A study exploring disordered eating patterns in first-year university students: student and service needs

John Power

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This qualitative study explored disordered eating in a small group of first-year undergraduate students and addresses a gap in the literature by exploring their lived experience.

Aims: To better understand student’s needs in those experiencing or at risk of developing disordered eating during their first year at university and to illustrate what support mechanisms and services are required to better support students experiencing or at risk during their first year at university.

Conclusion: The University could further develop its outreach to new students with a more consistently supportive programme providing better facilities and training for stress appraisal and coping and more support via student buddying. The University could also extend its programme on positive mental health in an attempt to better inform on disordered eating and to reduce a sense of stigma within the student population. Personal tutors and student health care facilities need to be consistently trained in the understanding and person centred approach to students experiencing disordered eating, particularly the sub-clinical group. In addition the University could consider some small changes and adaptations to the refectory eating areas to better facilitate students who may be at risk from disordered eating. Finally the University could perhaps better use the potentially liminal period within the first few months of student's arrival at university (a new beginning) to help embed a program to develop a stronger sense of coherence and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted - 2015
EventEuro Nursing and Medicare Summit - Spain, Valencia, Spain
Duration: 27 Jul 201529 Jul 2015


ConferenceEuro Nursing and Medicare Summit


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