Bodywhys receives a high volume of requests from professional researchers and third level students who are undertaking research on eating disorders. We are inviting people to become part of a research panel. This panel is open to people who have experience of an eating disorder as a family member, as someone who has an eating disorder or as someone who is recovered or feels they are in recovery.

Your details will be kept confidentially within Bodywhys and as research opportunities arise, you will be sent (most likely emailed) a copy of the research proposal and contact details for the researcher. It will then be entirely up to you whether you want to participate in that particular project.

Most projects are done on a voluntary basis but you may receive money to cover any expenses. Most projects take the form of a questionnaire. In some cases, you may be invited to be part of a focus group with other people who have similar experiences as you.

As there is currently a significant lack of research into eating disorders in Ireland, you would be making a valuable contribution. If you would like to participate in this research panel, please complete the application form below. You can contact Bodywhys Central Office at or by phone on 01 - 2834963 if you have any further enquiries.

Current Research Requests

June 2017

The role of social media in self-harm behaviours among Irish adolescents and young adults

Michelle Teo is a student in the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at Trinity College Dublin conducting a qualitative study for her research dissertation.

Our current understanding is that social media is at its peak and plays a large role in young peoples’ everyday lives. This can have both positive and negative impacts on young people. The aim of the study is to gain an in-depth understanding of the impact of social media on young people who have engaged in self-harm behaviours.

What is involved?

  • A brief questionnaire on coping methods and
  • An in-person semi-structured interview to be conducted by the researcher

The entire study should take no longer than 60 minutes. Interviews will be recorded but, anonymity and confidentiality will be preserved throughout the study (see Confidentiality below).

 Who can take part?

  • Irish young people aged 13-25
  • Have engaged in self-harm behaviour(s) in the past. Self-harm behaviours are any form of harm to oneself like cutting, burning, scratching, bruising, taking pills, disordered eating, and/or other substance abuse
  • Have not self-harmed for the past 18 months


Anonymity and confidentiality will be preserved throughout the study. That means that no one will know you by name or any personal details. What you say is private unless there is something you say that poses as potentially harmful to you or someone else. Participants will be assigned a code that is only known to the research team. All consent forms, questionnaires and interview transcripts will be locked in a filing cabinet throughout the study. Any electronic data will be stored in a password protected, encrypted data file. Further explanation on confidentiality will be discussed before the start of the study.

If you would like to participate, please email

This study has been granted ethical approval by the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin.

Michelle Teo

Counselling Psychologist Trainee

Trinity College Dublin

March 2017

Closing the treatment gap: A longitudinal study of treatment attitudes, media, and stigma among individuals with diagnosed or suspected eating disorders

Do you currently have an eating disorder? Do you think you might have an eating disorder?

Complete this three-part online survey and we will donate $10 AUD to an eating disorder charity on your behalf

Researchers at the University of Melbourne are seeking individuals aged 18 years and over and who i) are currently diagnosed with an eating disorder, or ii) think they might have an eating disorder, for a study of treatment attitudes, media use, and stigma.

The study initially involves a 25–35 minute online survey and two shorter 15–20 surveys that will be emailed to you 3 and 6 months later, respectively. We will donate $5 AUD for each of the second and third times you complete the survey. You can choose which of 7 eating disorder charities will receive your donation. If you complete both the second and third survey, your total donation will be $10 AUD.

We are seeking 500 participants. Thus, the total possible donation to eating disorder charities is $5000 AUD.
Click to learn more about the study and to participate:

This study has received ethical approval from The University of Melbourne

August 2016

Ecological Momentary Assessment of Eating Disorder Behaviours

This study will examine whether abrupt shifts of scheme modes can be linked to eating disorder behaviors, by using an "in the moment" real-time reporting system known as "ecological momentary assessment" (EMA).

Who can take part?
- Adults experiencing eating disorder symptoms.
- An iOS/Android smartphone to install a free app “Metricwire”.

How can you take part?
1.    You will be invited to complete a web-based baseline questionnaire about your eating behaviours and beliefs. Submit your email address to register for the study at the end.
2.    You will be emailed instructions to download “Metricwire” to your phone.
3.    Select our study “Ecological Momentary Assessment of Eating Disorder Behaviours" in the app.
4.    You will complete some brief questions, 6 times/day, for 8 days.
5.    Upon completion, you will be eligible to win an Apple iPad mini.

Access the study

Jinyuan (Queenie) Wu, PhD candidate,
A/Prof Ross King, Supervisor,


This study has received ethical approval from the Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee (DUHREC)

The Experience of Orthorexia from the Perspective of Recovered Orthorexics

April 2016

Orthorexia is a newly proposed eating disorder that involves obsession with a “clean” or “pure” diet. Currently, orthorexia is not listed as an official eating disorder, but many clinicians are seeing it in their offices. Research in this area is ongoing, and Lynn McGovern, MSc Applied Psychology student in Trinity College Dublin, would like to contribute to this important work by looking at how orthorexia has impacted those with the disorder.

 As part of her research, Lynn is currently recruiting people who have previously had eating difficulties that meet the criterion for 'orthorexic' as proposed by Dunn and Bratman (2016), and who are now recovered. Potential participants must not have been diagnosed with/be in treatment for another eating disorder within the past year. Participation would consist of a semi-structured interview conducted by telephone. All information is kept strictly confidential and is subject to the standards of the School of Psychology Research Ethics Committee at Trinity College.

This study is open to those aged 18 or over. If you would like to take part or have any questions on the study, please contact Lynn at

Exploring Personal Experiences of Being Diagnosed with an Eating Disorder

March 2016

Jennifer Barry, MSc Applied Psychology student in Trinity College Dublin, is conducting a qualitative study to explore the impact of an eating disorder diagnosis on one's sense of self.

  • Are you aged 18 or over?
  • Have you received a formal diagnosis of an eating disorder?
  • Do you identify as being recovered from an eating disorder?

This study has received ethical approval from the School of Psychology, TCD.

For further information, please email Jennifer

An Investigation into the Relationship Between Intolerance of Uncertainty and Threat in Everyday Life

February 2016

*Now Closed*

Trainee Clinical Psychologist Sara Milne is conducting research into the concept of Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU).

IU is basically a feeling of discomfort when faced with situations in which the outcome is unknown. IU has been found to be present across the whole population and varies in degree. Sara is interested in researching in this area because IU has been found to be a risk factor for many different mental health problems. Understanding more about it could therefore improve treatments.

The study involves completing an anonymous online questionnaire, which takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.

On completion participants have the opportunity to be entered into a prize draw to win a £25 amazon voucher, there is a one in fifty chance of wining one of these.

Please follow this link which will take you to the online questionnaire

This study has received ethical approval from the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University.

Sara Milne

Trainee Clinical Psychologist
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Newcastle University

Consumer Perspectives Research Study

February 2016 

Update March 2016: Study Closed

Do you work in an Inpatient Paediatric Eating Disorder Program? Have you previously spent time as an inpatient in a Paediatric Eating Disorder unit? Are you the carer of a young person who has been admitted into an inpatient program for Paediatric Eating Disorders?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these three questions we invite you to participate in a study that aims to look at what Clinicians, Clients, and Carers view as being important when it comes to the services provided in Paediatric Inpatient Eating Disorder Settings.

Participation involves rating a series of statements regarding inpatient care at three separate points in time. Each ‘round’ is estimated to take about 20 minutes and will commence early 2016.

For more information or to register your interest in participating please contact:

Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has approoved this study.

Mothers’ experiences of parenting an adolescent with anorexia nervosa

February 2016

Róisín O’Dwyer is an MSc in Applied Psychology student completing a dissertation on eating disorders.

The aim of this research is to explore the individual experience of mothers taking care of a teenager with anorexia nervosa. If you agree to take part you will be asked to complete a short questionnaire, and then will be interviewed by the researcher about your experience. Interviews will take place in Trinity College Dublin or in your own home, whichever is preferred, and they will be audio-recorded, with your permission, in order to facilitate analysis at a later stage. The entire process should last for no longer than 1 hour. You are welcome to take a break at any stage during the interview.

All information you provide will be kept confidential and any information which could be used to identify you will not be included in write up of the study. However confidentiality may be broken, should you indicate in the interview that you or someone else is in danger. You are free to withdraw from the research at any time, without penalty.  If at a later date (up until May 2016) you change your mind about the inclusion of your contribution to the study, you are free to contact me at the email address provided below, and your data will be removed from the research. If your data is used, it will be stored for 10 years in accordance with Trinity’s Data Storage Policy. You have the right to access your data at any time under the Freedom of Information Act.

Researcher: Róisín O’Dwyer


This study has received ethical approval from the School of Psychology Research Ethics Committee, Trinity College Dublin

Understanding the stigma of eating disorders

January 2016

Stephanie McAlinden, a PhD student in Queen’s University Belfast, is conducting a research project looking at the type of stigma and discrimination that people with eating disorders face as a result of their illness.

This study will involve a one-on-one interview that will last roughly forty minutes to an hour. Interviews can be done in person if you live in the Dublin, Wicklow or Belfast area – alternatively, they can be done over Skype. There will be no questions about the personal nature of your illness, rather, it asks about the stigmatising attitudes and discriminatory attitudes you have encountered, and about how you think attitudes could be improved.

The overall aim of the study is inform the design of a stigma-reducing intervention for young adolescents that is tailored specifically towards eating disorders.

If you are over the age of 18, have had a formal diagnosis of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, have been in recovery for at least two years and would like to participate, please email Stephanie on

This study has been granted ethical approval by School of Psychology Research Ethics Committee, on behalf of Queen’s University Belfast

Psychological Factors Associated with Eating

November 2015

Call for participants

Sarah-Jane Elliffe, Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology, TCD is conducting a research study into the psychological factors associated with eating behaviours and attitudes in men and women aged 18+.

The aim of the study is to gain information that might help devise better treatment programmes for people who experience difficulties in their relationship with food (e.g. engage in dietary restriction, binge eating, use diet pills/ laxatives/ vomit to control weight and shape).

In taking part you will be asked basic information about yourself, your experience in romantic relationships, your eating attitudes and behaviours, the level of support in your life and how you think about emotions.

Click here to participate in the study


This study has received ethical approval from the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin.

How should we talk about eating disorders in the community? An expert consensus study.

November 2015

Do you have expertise (including as an advocate with lived experience) in the field of eating disorders?

Are you aged 18 or over?

If you fit these criteria, you may be eligible to participate in an online research study about how to talk about eating disorders in community settings.

For further information, or if you are interested in participating, please visit the research website at:

Contact details: Joanna Doley (PhD student)
This study has ethics approval from La Trobe University Human Ethics Committee.

Heart Rate Variability, Mood and Eating Behaviours; A Multi Case Study Approach

March 2015

Are you female, between the ages of 18 and 30 and living in Cork City?

Would you like to learn about your eating behaviours?

We are looking for women who engage in different eating behaviours to participate in our study.

What type of eating behaviours are we interested in?

We are interested in studying under-eating behaviours, grazing eating behaviours, binge eating behaviours and healthy eating behaviours.

Under-eating - Under eating involves a strict calorie controlled diet with the intention of maintaining a low body weight. 

Graze- eating - Grazing is a pattern of eating behaviours defined as continuously and compulsively eating small amounts of food throughout the day.

Binge eating - Binge eating behaviours involves episodes of excessive eating.

Healthy eating - Those who engage in healthy eating behaviours are those who are a healthy weight, are not dieting and who consistently consume recommended calories and nutrients.

What will it involve?

Participation in this study will involve having your heart rate measured over a period of three weeks, keeping a food diary and recording your daily mood.

If you think you fit one of these profiles and are interested in participating please contact Shona O’Connor at

This study is being carried out as part of the Master’s dissertation for the MA in Applied Psychology, UCC. The study has received full ethical approval from the UCC School of Applied Psychology ethics committee.

For further information, please review the participant information sheet.

Call for Participants: Mental Health and Wellbeing in Families

February 2015

Third year psychology students from Trinity College Dublin are conducting a study titled: Mental Health and Wellbeing in Families: Experiences, Needs and Support Interviews with Support Service

The purpose of this study is to investigate the mental health and wellbeing of individuals who have and do not have relatives affected by mental health difficulties in addition to examining their experiences, needs and use of support. Furthermore, we hope to investigate the needs of individuals affected by mental health difficulties in a relative as perceived by support services and to examine which needs support services provide for. Ultimately, this is an exploratory study which aims to identify the areas of support which could be focused on and made available based on the perspectives of individuals affected by mental health difficulties in a relative.


If you volunteer to take part in this study, you will be asked to participate in an interview consisting of questions regarding your opinions on the experiences, needs and supports of individuals with a relative affected by mental health difficulties in Ireland.

Any information provided by you in this study will remain strictly confidential, and will only be accessed by the researchers and supervisors. Your data will be identified by a unique ID number and stored in folders or computer files. Any information linking you or your service to this unique ID number will be stored in a separate, password protected computer file.

The group project team:
Corina Chitic, Anna Connolly, Natalia Duda, Jonathan Fry, Caroline Gaughan, Sarah Ledden
School of Psychology, Áras an Phiarsaigh, Trinity College, Dublin 2.
Project supervisor:
Siobhan Corrigan, Senior Research Fellow, School of Psychology, Áras an Phiarsaigh, Trinity College, Dublin 2.
Email: Phone: 01-8962605

Call for participants: The media and body image

February 2015

Grace Black is a student researcher studying Social Care Institute of Technology Blanchardstown.

Her research project examines the issue of the media and body image.

To learn more and to access the study, please click here.

Contact Grace via:

Research supervisor: Dr. Aiden Carthy,

Call for Participants: Personal Experiences and Raising Awareness

December 2014

Film student, Jon Barton, is hoping to raise awareness of eating disorders.

Having had personal experience of an eating disorder, Jon understands the fear of speaking out and the need for confidentiality.

There is no requirement to take part in the film - just sharing your story would help. You can share your story face-to-face, by phone, or by email.

Part of the focus of the film is hearing the experiences of those when they disclosed their diffulties to other people.

Jon can be contacted at

Research: Mindful Eating

August 2014

This study is interested in seeing if there is a link between our mood, relationships, how we see our body, and eating habits. I would really appreciate if you would complete this survey which will take about 5-10 minutes. Your participation is really important as you will help add to our understanding of the factors that influence our eating habits. 

Study link: Mindful Eating

Aims of study
This study aims to gain a better understanding of the factors that influence eating behaviours, particularly levels of mindfulness and eating habits. ‘Mindfulness’ is the effort to be present with our experience, that is, paying attention and noticing what’s going on right now.

This survey should take you about 10 minutes to complete.
Who is carrying out the survey?
This study is being conducted by Noelle Fitzgerald, Psychologist in Clinical Training, Department of Psychology, at the University of Limerick.
Questions about the Research
Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns or questions at all about this study.
You can email

If you have any other concerns about this research, you may contact the Principal Investigator, Dr Patrick Ryan, Department of Psychology, University of Limerick. Tel. 061-202741. This research study has received HSE West Ethics approval. If you wish to contact an independent authority, you may contact:  Research Ethics Committee, HSE Mid Western Regional Hospital, Tel. 061-482519

Research: Post-traumatic stress Disorder and Eating Disorders

April 2014

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following inpatient admission for eating disorders (ED).

Researcher: Melissa Snaith, Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology.

Purpose of the study
This study will investigate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women (18+) who have experienced inpatient treatment for an ED. The study will see whether people found some or all of their inpatient treatment to be traumatic. It will look at how people think about any trauma, their memories of it and the things they do to manage any symptoms.  The purpose is to identify which psychological factors predict the severity of PTSD symptoms, in those who have had an inpatient admission for an ED. The study is being carried out as part of my doctoral dissertation.

What does the study involve?

This study is an anonymous online survey, for participants living in Ireland, UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, so you can do everything via the internet. You will first be asked to give your consent to take part in the study. If you give consent you will then be asked to complete some screening information.  If you are not eligible to take part the website will let you know. If you are eligible to take part you will first be asked to enter some basic details about yourself (your age, gender, etc.). Then you will be presented with some online questionnaires. The questionnaires will ask about your eating disorder, your inpatient experience and how you think about and react to memories of your inpatient experience.  The questionnaires should take about 45 minutes to complete.  You can save the questionnaires if you want to take a break before completing them and then come back and finish them at another time. You can leave the survey at any time by simply closing your browser.

At the end you will see a page with sources of support in your country. You will then be invited to submit the survey. If you agree to participate in this project, the research will be written up as a thesis to partially fulfil the requirements of a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford. Any personal data collected will be anonymised before submission of the thesis. Following submission of the thesis, it will be available in print in the University archives, to facilitate its use in future research. The thesis will be submitted for publication in a psychological journal.  

Link to the research survey

Facebook page
This study has been given full Ethical Approval by the University of Oxford Central University Research Ethics Committee (CUREC) - Medical Science Division.

Research Survey: Emotions and Eating Behaviours

April 2014

Survey; Emotions and Eating Behaviours

Would you like to take part in a survey which aims to explore relationships between emotions and eating behaviours?

The purpose of the study is to gain information that might help devise better treatment for people who are experiencing disordered eating. Participants are not studied individually but the answers you provide will be combined with other responses in an attempt to identify patterns.

Participants are not asked to give their name or any other identifying information. In addition, the survey is being carried out using a software package (Survey Monkey), which provides a feature that prevents the researcher from seeing your e-mail address.  

Click on this link to complete the research survey. You must be over 18 to participate in this research.

This study forms part of a Master’s Degree programme in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This study has ethical approval from the Irish College of Humanities and Applied Sciences (ICHAS), Limerick. The findings of the study, when completed, will be available through the ICHAS library.

Researcher's Contact Details:              
Name; Elizabeth Moloney, B.A., H. Dip., Degree in Counselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies, Diploma in the Treatment of Eating Disorders, MBACP.
Phone: 086 3041 373        

Research: Investigating disordered eating

March 2014

Una Foye from the University of Ulster is exploring the risk factors associated with the development of disordered eating and dieting behaviours.

As part of a PhD study in the School of Communication, she is currently recruiting participants to take part in a short online survey related to well-being and eating attitudes and behaviours. The study focuses the relationship between disordered eating attitudes & behaviours and well-being factors such as emotional understanding and information seeking behaviours.

The study is an online questionnaire that takes 10-15 minutes to complete and participation is entirely voluntary. You are free to withdraw at any point. This study has been approved by The University of Ulster School of Communication Filter Committee (Ref: REC/13/0237).

If you would like to take part please follow this link provided.

If you have any queries or would like further information about this study, or any other area of the larger PhD study, please do not hesitate in contacting Una via or 02890366291.

Research: Living with an eating disorder in Ireland

 January 2014

Establishing a holistic account of what life is like for adolescents affected by eating disorders in Ireland.

We are a team of researchers from Saint John of God Hospitaller Services and University College Dublin. We are interested in talking to 15-18 year olds about their experiences of living with an eating disorder. In particular, we would like to know what it is like to look for help and what kinds of services are available. We hope that by finding out how easy (or difficult) it is to find the right kind of help that we will be able to greatly improve services for all young people.

If you are between 15 and 18 years old, and have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, we would like to invite you to take part in this study.  If you are interested in taking part, all you have to do is contact the researcher, Lesley O’Hara at the details below. She will explain the study to you and will arrange a time and date to meet with you and your family.

All participation is completely anonymous. This study has received ethical approval from the Saint John of God's Provincial Ethics Committee.

Contact Details: Dr. Lesley O’Hara.


Phone: 01-4923596