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Posted on September 9th, 2012, by

Today, the problem of the development of anorexia in young women at the age of 16-24 becomes one of the major threats to their health because anorexia affects the physical condition of patients to the extent that, in the most severe cases, anorexia may lead to the death of a patient. However, the problem of anorexia among young women is often underestimated because patients fail to recognize that they do have a problem. In such a situation, it is important to study causes and factors that influence women and provoke the development of anorexia because the prevention of causes can help to prevent the health problem itself.

1.2 Statement of the problem

In fact, the problem is the rise of the number of anorexia patients under the impact of multiple factors that provoke the development of the health problem and change in the behaviour of patients, especially young women at the age of 16 24, who are particularly vulnerable to the risk of the development of anorexia. Therefore, the contemporary health care system is unable to prevent the development of anorexia, whereas the number of patients with anorexia growth. Hence, the prevention of the development of anorexia should become one of the major tasks of health care professionals and the national health system at large.

1.3 Literature review

In actuality, many studies (Eisler, Le Grange, Asen, 2003) reveal the full extent to which anorexia is dangerous for human health. The essence of anorexia is the weight loss that goes out of control of patients to the extent that weight loss becomes an obsessive condition similar to addiction (Brown, 2000). As a result, patients with anorexia lose weight causing harm to their health. In this regard, specialists (Brown, 2000) argue that adolescent girls and young women are particularly vulnerable to the development of anorexia. At the same time, specialists (Brown, 2000) point out that the impact of mass media and contemporary culture as well as existing standards of female beauty are the major factors provoking anorexia in young women.

2. OBJECTIVES

2.1 General objective

General objectives of the current study will focus on the understanding of general trends in the development of anorexia in the contemporary society. To put it more precisely, the study will focus on the revelation of causes of anorexia as one of its general objectives. Understanding of causes of anorexia in general can help to understand more specific causes of the development of the disorder in the target population.

Furthermore, the analysis of factors provoking the development of anorexia is another general objective of the study. In this regard, along with physiological and psychological causes of anorexia, there may be other factors, which may be not direct causes of the disease but risk factors. For instance, the impact of social environment or mass media may increase the risk of the development of anorexia but they are not direct causes that provoke the disorder.

The analysis of consequences of anorexia and their impact on health is another important objective of the study because the understanding of general effects on anorexia on human health will help to focus on specific health issues in the target population affected by anorexia.

2.2 Specific objective

Specific objectives of the study will narrow down general objectives to the target population. To put it more precisely, one of the specific objectives of the study will be the identification of the target population. In this regard, the literature review will help to understand which population is at higher risk (females at the age of 16 to 24).

Furthermore, the revelation of typical behavioural patterns of the target population is another important objective of the study. The behaviour of the target population affects food habits, lifestyle, and other issues that may provoke the development of anorexia or aggravate the health condition of patients with anorexia. For instance, patients may suffer from the development of serious health problems because of dangerous behaviour patterns such as excessive dieting or excessive physical activities.

In addition, the assessment of the vulnerability of the target population to the development of anorexia will help to evaluate the risk of the development of anorexia in females at the age of 16 to 24. Moreover, the study should focus on the specific impact of anorexia on the health of young women at the age of 16 to 24. In fact, physical and psychological condition of the target population may be different from the general population. For instance, older population may be more resistant psychologically to the impact of their social environment or mass media. In addition, females at the age of 16 to 24 have specific physiology, which is different from other age groups.

3. METHODOLOGY

3.1 Study type, variables, data collection techniques

The study will involve quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis. The combination of the quantitative and qualitative analysis will increase the validity and reliability of the current study. In addition, such a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods will reduce the risk of the error in the analysis of data collected in the course of the study.

The analysis of statistical information will help to reveal current trends in the target population in terms of the development of anorexia.

Basically, statistics can reveal the share of the population affected by anorexia, while the analysis of data in the course of several years will help to identify such trends as the growth or decline of the number of patients with anorexia.

The age is independent variable for the target population will be analyzed within the set age framework. The gender is another independent variable for the target population of the current study are women. In addition, the study will use on the specific location, which is another independent variable. The study will cover London area only. The aforementioned independent variables are determined by the scope of the current study and the target population involved in the study.

Cultural background, social status, food culture, and lifestyle (active or sedative) are dependent variables. Dependent variables will help to reveal factors that may influence the behaviour patterns of the target population and provoke the development of anorexia or, at least, increase the risk of the development of the disorder. For instance, food culture or sedative lifestyle may be risk factors that may lead to the development of anorexia.

3.2 Sampling

The target population will be selected randomly on the ground of the age, location and gender criteria. The target population will involve women at the age of 16 to 24 in London. Subjects will be selected randomly as long as they met these three criteria mentioned above.

Therefore, the study will involve diverse population in terms of cultural background, ethnicity, social status, educational background, food culture and lifestyle. Such diversity will help to reveal different factors that may affect the development of anorexia in females at the age of 16 to 24 in London.

3.3 Plan for data collection

The data will be collected from diverse sources. First, the analysis of statistical information will help to define the scope of the spread of anorexia in the target population, i.e. females at the age of 16-24 in London. Open sources will be used for the analysis of the information relevant to anorexia in females at the target age.

Second, the target population will be selected for interviews and questionnaires and focus groups. Interviews and questionnaires will help to obtain personal opinion of subjects involved in the study concerning the problem of anorexia, its causes, risk factors and effects as well as ways of the disorder’s prevention. The target population will include females with anorexia at the age of 16 to 24, health care professionals working with patients suffering from anorexia and similar disorders, and psychologists. Females with anorexia will share their problems and help to identify key problems and risk factors. Similarly, health care professionals and psychologists will reveal their experience of work with anorexic patients and they will help to understand causes, risk factors and ways of the prevention of the disorder.

Third, responses of subjects will be collected and processed. Similar trends will be identified and revealed. Focus groups will help to identify the major causes of the development of anorexia in women at the age of 16 to 24 and risk factors provoking the development of anorexia in the target population. Focus groups will also help to suggest possible solutions to the problem. Finally, all the data collected will be analyzed and conclusions made.

3.4 Plan for data processing and analysis

The data should be collected and processed by the researcher. The data should be processed on one PC that will facilitate the work with large amount of information collected in the course of the study. The analysis will include both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The quantitative analysis will reveal the share of anorexic women at the age of 16 to 24 in the total population in London. The qualitative analysis will include the analysis of interviews, questionnaires and the work of the focus group. All stages should be completed in the course of the study, while the study should also take into consideration limitations of the current study.

3.5 Ethical considerations

The study should maintain confidentiality of the target population. In such a way, the study will protect patients from information breaches. The study should respect the privacy of patients involved in the study. Therefore, the study will be conducted anonymously and names of subjects and their position will not be uncovered. The confidentiality and anonymity of subjects of the study are important because any publicity can affect negatively personal and professional life of subjects involved in the study.

Subjects of the study should be aware that they participate in the study and they should give their written consent on the participation in the study. The written consent is important in terms of the prevention lawsuits being filed be subjects of the study against the researcher. The researcher should inform subjects of the study of goals of the study and guarantee confidentiality of subjects of the study.

3.6 Pre-test

Before testing, all subjects of the study should be fully aware of the goals of the study and its expected effects. In fact, subjects should understand what the study they participate in, what the purpose of the study is, and what effects of the study may be or are expected to be.

4. WORK PLAN-GANTT CHART (including description of project staff)

      TimelineAction 1 week 2-4 weeks 5-6 weeks
Objectives setting General and specific objectives should be set
Planning The plan includes steps to be undertaken in the course of the study and control over the implementation of the plan
Data collection The implementation of the chosen methods of the study, including statistical analysis, interviews and questionnaires involving patients with anorexia, health care professionals and psychologists. The data should be collected and processed by the researcher
Data processing The data are processed by the researcher to identify key issues relevant to the problem of the study, namely the researcher should identify causes and factors causing anorexia and the extent to which anorexia is spread in the target population (females at the age of 16 to 24 in London)
Data analysis The data analysis includes the discussion of findings and suggestions concerning factors provoking anorexia and current trends related to anorexia in females at the age of 16 to 24 in London
Conclusion Summarizing findings and suggesting recommendation for the further study of the problem of anorexia in women at the age of 16 to 24 in London

 

 

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