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Table 2 Characteristics of included papers/literature

From: The experience of women with an eating disorder in the perinatal period: a meta-ethnographic study

Author (Year) Country Setting Participants N, age, ED features Study aim/objective Study design/methodology & transparency Rigour of analysis and reporting
Journal Articles
 Burton et al. 2015 [20] Perth, Australia. 20 women, aged between 21 and 40, with an eating disorder diagnosis and who had birthed within the last 12 months. 8 had Anorexia Nervosa(AN), 4 had Bulimia Nervosa (BN), BED or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). Other 12 not accounted for re eating disorder (ED) diagnosis. All had given birth. Aim: To address a gap in current literature of how pregnant women with eating disorders make meaning of their experience. Study design: Semi-structured in-depth interview. Methodology: Used purposive sampling. Data Collection: Taped interview, which was then transcribed. Data analysis: Colaizzi’s method. Nothing about those who chose not to take place in the study. Limited data on the critical examination undertaken or the researchers role in the analysis.
 Patel et al. 2005 [27] United Kingdom. 6 mothers, mean age (range 29–42) with either Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disease IV (DSM-IV) BN or EDNOS and 9 mothers, mean age 33.6 (range 28–43) at risk for an eating disorder (high concerns about body weight and shape but little behavioural disturbance). Comparison group: 6 mothers, mean age 32.5 (range 28–36), with low body shape and weight concerns. All had given birth. Aim: To examine how three groups of women with different levels of eating disorder psychology, perceived and coped with changes in eating and body shape and weight following pregnancy and the birth of a baby. Study design: In-depth interview. Methodology: Used purposive sampling. Data Collection: Interview, which was then transcribed. Data analysis: Thematic content analysis. Nothing about those who chose not to take place in the study. Limited data on the critical examination undertaken or the researchers role in the analysis. Nothing in the reporting about receiving ethical approval.
 Shaffer et al. 2008 [28] USA 10 women with a self-reported history of an eating disorder during pregnancy, age range 26–39. 6 were pregnant at time of data collection. 4 had given birth. Aim: To explore the experiences of women who have an eating disorder prior to, or during pregnancy. Study design: In-depth interview. Methodology: Used purposive sampling. Data Collection: Interview, which was audiotaped then transcribed. Data analysis: Manen’s Thematic content analysis. Nothing about those who chose not to take place in the study.
 Stapleton et al. 2008 [29] United Kingdom. 16 women who self-reported as having an eating disorder, age range 23–44 years. 5 were pregnant at time of data collection. 11 had given birth. Aim: To examine participants’ motivation for, and understandings of, infant-feeding decisions and practices. Study design: In-depth interview. Methodology: Used purposive sampling. Data Collection: Interview, which was audiotaped then transcribed. Data analysis: Feminist and ethnographic approach. Limited data on the critical examination undertaken or the researchers role in the analysis
 Taborelli et al. 2015 [30] United Kingdom. 12 women with severe eating disorders during pregnancy (8 with Anorexia Nervosa Binge-purge (AN-BP) and 4 with BN), age range 23–39. All had given birth. Aim: To examine in depth the individuals’ experience of transition from pregnancy to motherhood, among women with current eating disorders, focusing on differences between first and subsequent pregnancies. Study design: In-depth interview. Methodology: Used purposive sampling. Data Collection: Interview, which was audiotaped then transcribed. Data analysis: Interpretative phenomenological analysis. No information on dropouts during the data collection. Limited data on the critical examination undertaken or the researchers role in the analysis
 Stringer et al. 2010 [37] and Tierney et al. 2011 [8] United Kingdom. 8 women with self reported AN or BN, mean age 29.4  years. 3 were pregnant at time of data collection. 5 had given birth. Aim: To examine in depth the experiences of pregnant women with an ED and during the early years of the child’s life. Study design: Semi-structured interview. Methodology: Used purposive sampling. Data Collection: Interview, which was audiotaped then transcribed. Data analysis: Framework analysis. Limited data on the critical examination undertaken or the researchers role in the analysis
 Willis & Rand 1988 [55] USA. 4 women who meet the criteria (DSM-III) for BN. All women had given birth. Aim: To describe pregnancy outcome in four bulimic women. Study design: Interview. Methodology: Used purposive sampling. Data Collection: Interview. Data analysis: Unclear. Age of women not reported. Limited information on how data was collected and no information on how the data was analysed.
Case Studies
 Hollifield & Hobdy 1990 [18] USA. 3 women with DSM diagnosis of BN, aged 23–31, from an eating disorder therapy group who became pregnant. All pregnant at time of interview. Aim: To present the experiences of three pregnant women with BN whose experience of pregnancy did not match the current literature. Study design: Case studies. Data Collection: Semi-structured interview. No information on the duration or the type of questions asked during the interview.
 Lewis & le Grange 1994 [53] South Africa. 6 mothers aged 27–45 years, with a DSM-IV diagnosis of BN. All had given birth. Aim: To investigate retrospectively  i) The emotional experience of pregnancy by women suffering from BN, and  ii) Whether pregnancy has an ameliorating, neutral or exacerbating effect on bulimic symptoms during, and/or following, pregnancy. Study design: Case studies. Data Collection: Semi-structured interview.  
 Little & Lowkes 2000 [52] USA 3 women with anorexic-bulimic symptoms aged 28–36 years. Two had given birth and one was 9 months pregnant. Aim: Not stated. Study design: Case studies. Data Collection: Semi-structured interview. Not stated what eating disorder the participants were suffering from. The aim of the study not clearly stated.
 Namer et al. 1986 [50] USA 6 women, mean age 28.7 years, with AN. Four were pregnant at time of data collection. Two had given birth. Aim: To learn more about the psychological as well as physiological aspects of pregnancy, birth and the post-partum period in AN. Study design: Case studies. Data Collection: Semi-structured interview.