Driving better intervention outcomes in eating disorders: A systematic synthesis of research priority setting and the involvement of consumer input Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:Setting specific research priorities and involving consumers in this process is one pathway to driving better intervention outcomes in eating disorders (EDs). We reviewed research priority setting in the field and the involvement of consumers in this priority setting. METHOD:A systematic review following the PRSIMA statement was conducted and eight studies were identified for inclusion; four included substantial input from consumers, and four were researcher led. Similarities and differences across the types of studies were examined. RESULTS:Research priorities informed by consumers were primarily concerned with producing better interventions and outcomes. A large degree of overlap with researcher-led priorities was present. The former studies had a greater focus on early intervention, bridging the research-practice gap, and recovery, while the latter were more likely to address diagnosis, genetic factors, brain circuitry, and pharmacotherapy. Priorities endorsed across more than one consumer-informed study included: the role of self-harm, working with health care professionals to increase early detection, supporting transition between services, and six issues about improved treatments. CONCLUSIONS:The ED field needs to engage in more meaningful involvement of co-design across consumers, clinicians and researchers along the entire research journey, not just research priority setting. An integrated research strategy incorporating a co-design perspective has the potential to drive better outcomes.

publication date

  • 2020