The University of Sydney

Lived Experience of the Assessment and Treatment of Compulsive Exercise in Individuals with Eating Disorders

Chief InvestigatorClosing Date
Prof Stephen Touyz15 Jul, 2023
Chief InvestigatorProf Stephen Touyz
Closing Date15 Jul, 2023

About the research trial

Compulsive exercise is a symptom present in most eating disorders. Research has consistently highlighted its impact on various treatment outcomes and quality of life. In recent decades, researchers and clinicians alike have advocated for the implementation of structured exercise interventions into eating disorder treatment programmes. However, assessment and treatment of compulsive exercise across treatment settings is heterogeneous. Given the importance of this symptom, a standardised approach to its assessment and treatment appears warranted. Previous research has highlighted the usefulness of standardised assessment tools for compulsive exercise such as the CET and the EED, and has illustrated that individuals with eating disorders benefit from interventions targeting exercise. However, little is currently known about the perspectives of individuals with an eating disorder regarding the assessment and treatment of compulsive exercise.\
A lived experience perspective of the assessment and treatment of compulsive exercise will likely facilitate a closer investigation of current practices as well as challenges faced by eating disorder patients. Lived experience research can also add valuable in-depth knowledge on topics that have not been extensively investigated, and has been documented to have numerous benefits for researchers and affected individuals alike. To the authors’ knowledge, there are currently no studies investigating the perspectives of eating disorder patients on the assessment and treatment of compulsive exercise. The proposed study hence aims to gather qualitative data in this subject area.

Recruitment details

We are recruiting adult participants who have been diagnosed with an eating disorder by a qualified health professional and who engage in compulsive exercise.


Astrid Harris