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Table 2 Summary of the conceptual categories that emerged from parent interviews, and the classification of these categories into high-level concepts

From: Parental experiences with their child’s eating disorder treatment journey

High-level Concepts Conceptual Categories
Delays in identifying eating disorder symptoms • Parents did not recognize eating disorder symptoms or were not concerned in the early stages of changes to eating behaviour
• Eating disorder slipped under the radar due to gender/age
Challenges with accessing eating disorder services • Delays in referral to appropriate services
• Lack of appropriate services in home community
• Delays in accessing treatment/waitlists
Right treatment at the right time • Lack of therapeutic care or unhelpful therapeutic care
• Bouncing between care providers
• Timing of admission/logistical issues affecting care
Emotional impact on parents • Anxiety about accessing an appropriate treatment, feeling at a loss about how to best support their child
• Anger, frustration, desperation and guilt in the early stages of the treatment journey
• Relief upon being connected with an appropriate treatment
Parental expertise and involvement • Caregiver knows best
• Advocacy in treatment planning
• Developing a better understanding of the recovery process
• Involvement during treatment helped improve confidence at the time of discharge