Charting the Unknown: Challenges in the Clinical Assessment of Patients’ Technology Use Related to Eating Disorders


CHI '21: Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

A growing body of research in HCI focuses on understanding how social media and other social technologies impact a given user’s mental health, including eating disorders. In this paper, we review the results of an interview study with 10 clinicians spanning various specialties who treat people with eating disorders, in order to understand the clinical contexts of eating disorders and social media use. We found various tensions related to clinician comfort and education into the (mis)use of technologies and balancing the positive and negative aspects of social media use within active disease states as well as in recovery. Understanding these tensions as well as the variation in the current process of diagnosing patients is a critical component in connecting HCI research focused on eating disorders to clinical practice and ultimately assessing how digital self-harm could be addressed clinically in the future.

For Free Full Text, click the link

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date