School Reintegration Following Hospital Treatment for an Eating Disorder; Two Case Studies with Multiple Perspectives on the Reintegration Process

Prof Doc Thesis

Williams, J. 2021. School Reintegration Following Hospital Treatment for an Eating Disorder; Two Case Studies with Multiple Perspectives on the Reintegration Process. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsWilliams, J.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

School reintegration following hospitalisation has been explored for children and young people (CYP) with medical and mental health needs. No previous research was identified that specifically focused on the experiences of CYP who have returned to school following inpatient care for an eating disorder. A multiple case study design was used to retrospectively explore the experiences of two young people who successfully reintegrated to school following hospital support for an eating disorder. The study compromised of two case studies. The research focused on exploring ‘what went well’ and ‘what could have been even better’ during the school reintegration process.
Semi-structured interviews were used in two case studies of a young person who had spent time at inpatient unit for over 6 months for support with anorexia nervosa before reintegrating into sixth form. Views were gathered from four participants in each case study: the young person, their parent, the young person's previous hospital school key teacher and the home school key person (who supported with the reintegration). The interviews were carried out remotely, via Microsoft Teams, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The dataset from each case study was analysed separately using thematic analysis and an overall thematic map was presented for the findings from each case study.
Three themes were identified in Case Study One: young person’s strengths, preparation for young person’s return and supportive relationships and environment. Four themes were identified in Case Study Two: young person’s internal motivators and external motivators, preparing for school return, support systems, and sense of school belonging and connectedness. Findings are discussed in relation to previous research that has explored school reintegration following hospital support for mental health difficulties more broadly and psychological theory. Strengths, limitations and implications for schools, families and educational psychologists are highlighted. Recommendations for future research are also discussed.

PublisherUniversity of East London
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Online01 Oct 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted10 Aug 2021
Deposited04 Oct 2021
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