Misfires, Missed Data, Misaligned Treatment: Disconnects in Collaborative Treatment of Eating Disorders

Lauren C. Taylor, Kelsie Belan, Munmun De Choudhury, and Eric P. S. Baumer. 2021. Misfires, Missed Data, Misaligned Treatment: Disconnects in Collaborative Treatment of Eating Disorders. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction 5, CSCW1: 31:1-31:28. https://doi.org/10.1145/3449105

Abstract

Technology bears important relationships to our health and wellness and has been utilized over the past two decades as an aid to support both self-management goals as well as collaboration among treatment teams. However, when chronic illnesses such as eating disorders (ED) are managed outside of institutionalized care settings, designing effective technology to support collaboration in treatment necessitates that we understand the relationships between patients, clinicians, and support networks. We conducted in-depth, semi-structured, interviews with 9 ED patients and 10 clinicians to understand the ED journey through the lens of collaborative efforts, technology use, and potential detriments. Based on our analysis of these 19 interviews, we present novel findings on various underlying disconnects within the collaborative ED treatment process – disconnects among clinicians, between treatment foci, among preferences in tracking, within support networks, and in patients’ own identities. Our findings highlight how these various disconnects are concomitant with and gaps can stem from a lack of collaboration between different stakeholders in the ED journey. We also identify methods of facilitating collaboration in these disconnects through technological mediators.

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