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The purpose of this survey is to obtain information about the financial and other costs of eating disorders in New Zealand from those with a history of an eating disorder or those who have cared for someone with an eating disorder. This costs study is for everyone but we also have a related study about eating disorders in Māori called Tangata Kōmuramura (see below)

We are also interested in how individuals view the causes of their eating disorder, their experiences of treatment and factors related to recovery.

This study is in two parts:

  1. The online survey
  2. An interview with those who wish to tell us more about their experiences, either as a carer or as a person with a history of an eating disorder. If you have a history of an eating disorder and consent to the interview, we will ask you to complete a short questionnaire booklet about how you see your coping style, self-esteem and personality.

You do not have to take part in both aspects of the study. If you are willing to be contacted about the interview or other related future research, please tick the box at the end of the survey or email the research team directly (details below).

Who are the researchers?

This project is a collaborative project between researchers at:

  • the University of Otago, Christchurch
  • MIHI, University of Otago, Christchurch
    • Cameron Lacey
    • Karen Keelan
    • Mauterangimarie Clark
    • Jenni Manuel
  • the University of Otago, Wellington
    • Ruth Cunningham
    • Vivienne Rijnberg
    • The Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand (EDANZ)
    • Nicki Wilson
    • Fiona Farrell
  • the University of Auckland
    • Marion Roberts
  • the Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand (EDANZ)
    • Nicki Wilson
    • Fiona Farrell
  • the Canterbury District Health Board
    • Rachel Lawson
  • the University of North Carolina & Karolinska Institutet
  • the University of Canterbury
    • Roma Watterson
    • Janet Carter
    • Lois Tonkin

Who can participate?

We invite you to participate if you:

  • Have a current or past eating disorder
  • Have cared for someone with an eating disorder
  • Are 16 years or over

About the survey

We estimate that this survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete, although if you choose to enter more detail in the free text boxes, that will take longer.

The survey questions ask about the following areas for you (or if you are a carer, for the person you cared for)

  • Brief information about you
  • Brief information about the eating condition and its physical effects
  • Impact on the person's / carer's ability to work or study
  • Your income so we can calculate the financial impacts of the eating disorder
  • Type of treatment received and treatment costs
  • Other costs of the eating disorder
  • Your experiences of treatment
  • Your thoughts on the causes of the eating disorder
  • Your views on helpful factors for recovery
  • Any other matters you think are important- there is space to write your comments

Your privacy

The research team based at the University of Otago, Christchurch will treat all information gathered in the strictest confidence.

We will only report summaries in any reports and scientific publications, and for the free text comments, we will ensure that no information is published that could identify any individual.

The results of the survey will be published in a scientific journal and a version of it will be made publically available on the EDANZ website and to relevant agencies with an interest in eating disorders in New Zealand.

  • Your participation in this research study is voluntary. You may choose not to participate
  • If you decide to participate in this research survey, you may withdraw at any time
  • Your survey will be allocated a unique research number
  • If you give your contact details for the second part of the study, we will store your name and contact details separately from your survey data in a password protected file
  • This research has been approved by the Health and Disability Ethics Committee (16/NTB/189) for research involving human subjects

For further information

Information about the interview or to take part in an interview

Contact Jenny Jordan
Tel +64 3 372 0400

Queries about this survey or other aspects of the research

Contact Jenny Jordan
Tel +64 3 372 0400

To talk to someone who isn't involved with the study

Contact an independent health and disability advocate

Tel 0800 555 050 (from within New Zealand only)
Fax 0800 2 SUPPORT (0800 2 7877678) (from within New Zealand only)

For Māori health support

Contact Karen Keelan, Māori Advisor, Research
Tel +64 3 364 1658

Ethics approval

Contact the health and disability ethics committee (HDEC) that approved this study

Tel 0800 4 ETHICS (0800 4 38442)

Complete the Cost of Eating Disorders survey

  • If I decide to withdraw from the study, I agree that the information collected about me up to the point when I withdraw may continue to be processed.
  • I consent to anonymised information I provide for this study being used in other related research that has ethical approval.
  • By clicking on one of the links below, I am consenting to take part in this study.

Proceed with the CONSUMER survey - for those who have had an eating disorder
Proceed with the CARER survey - for those who have cared for someone with an eating disorder

Tangata Kōmuramura: Māori Experiences of Eating Disorders

Ngā Tae Hauora Logo
Ngā Tae Hauora / The Colours of Well-being.

Te Rau Hinengaro, The New Zealand Mental Health Survey, indicated that Māori experience eating disorders at similar rates to the general population. However, to date these findings have not been examined in more depth. Tangata Kōmuramura is a research project that is investigating the Māori experience of eating disorders. The study has two aims: Firstly, to identify the level of eating disorder service use by Māori in New Zealand, and secondly, to gain a deeper understanding of what it is like for Māori and whānau who experience eating disorders.

We are currently looking for Māori participants to share their story in a one hour research interview to inform the second aim of the project. We invite you to participate if you:

  • Identify as Māori
  • Are over the age of 16
  • Have a current or past eating disorder
  • Or have supported someone who is Māori with an eating disorder

For further information, contact Mauterangimarie Clark (Research Assistant) on 021 279 0797 or

Tangata Kōmuramura brochure (PDF)

Visit the MIHI webpage

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