Empowering individuals with eating disorders through technology

  • 5th July 2024

A patient and public involvement evaluation reveals the promising impact of the Eating Disorder Support App in providing comprehensive support for individuals with eating disorders, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

The Eating Disorders Health Integration Team (ED HIT) worked in collaboration with Veronika Rysinova, a doctoral student from UWE Bristol, who delivered the evaluation project with support from the HIT’s peer co-director.

Key findings

16 participants completed a survey about the app, including individuals with lived experience, supporters, and healthcare professionals. 4 individuals agreed to provide further information by interview.

94% of users rated the Eating Disorder Support App as excellent or good.

87.6% expressed willingness to recommend it to a friend dealing with an eating disorder.

Users expressed the app is easy to use, worked well with other care pathways, and gives reliable information one could trust. Some individuals also mentioned that using the app made them feel more motivated and confident, helped them change their behaviours in a positive way, and improved how they felt overall.

“It’s very easy to use, very straightforward, which is what I like. It’s very clear, you know what each section will cover, and then when you go into each section again, laid out quite clearly. You know, if you’re looking for crisis stuff, you can find that in two buttons, you know, the same with relapses, the same with self-care”.

“Like I didn’t have anything before this.(…) But not having it versus having it now, I’m a lot more social, not just food, social, but just social in general and like I said, there are mindset (changes), more confidence and yeah I suppose not (feeling) as dismissed.

“We’re looking at more modern ways of giving out information and engaging, especially with our younger audience (…) .Things like apps are proving to be very useful, particularly for our younger clients.

Suggestions for app improvement included giving users more ways to personalise their experience, improving the resources and managing potential information overload.

Find out more in ED HIT’s summary report

Download the app

Download free for iPhone on the Apple App Store and for Android on Google Play.