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Brief inpatient treatment for eating disorders: can Motivational Enhancement Therapy improve outcome?

Doctor of Clinical Psychology / Master of Science / Despite a number of different psychotherapeutic approaches having been examined for use with patients with eating disorders, there is still no established psychological treatment associated with acceptable levels of long-term recovery. These poor recovery rates are associated with the observation that eating disorder patients are often ambivalent, or even resistant, to treatment. As such, research has begun to explore the use of Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), a treatment approach that aims to engage ambivalent and change resistant patients in the treatment process, with these individuals. Poor motivation to recover is particularly prominent within the inpatient eating disorder setting. However, no previous study has examined the use of MET to foster willingness to engage in treatment with this group of patients. The objectives of the current study were twofold. Firstly, an examination of the effectiveness of an inpatient eating disorders unit affiliated was undertaken in order to further the research base upon which future inpatient interventions can be built and compared. The second objective was to develop and evaluate a brief MET group program for inpatient eating disorder sufferers. The goal of the intervention was to enhance patients’ motivation to more effectively utilise the inpatient program and to hence positively impact upon their psychological, physical and behavioural functioning. Forty-two consecutive inpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for an eating disorder were recruited into the current study and sequentially allocated to groups. Twenty-three inpatients completed four MET groups in addition to routine hospital care. A control group of 19 participants in the standard hospital treatment program was also employed (TAU group). The inpatient unit was associated with significant improvements on a number of physical, behavioural and emotional outcome measures. Despite no significant differences between the MET and the TAU groups being found on the overall formal outcome measures, there were nevertheless differences between the groups. Specifically, the MET groups appeared to foster longer-term motivation and engagement, and to promote treatment continuation. This study hopes to start a constructive debate on the role of MET in the inpatient eating disorders unit.
Date January 2007
CreatorsDean, Helen Yasmin
PublisherUniversity of Sydney., School of Psychology
Source SetsAustraliasian Digital Theses Program
Detected LanguageEnglish
RightsThe author retains copyright of this thesis.,

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