Motivational change in an inpatient anorexia nervosa population and implications for treatment.

School of Psychology, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.77). 04/2009; 43(3):235-43. DOI: 10.1080/00048670802653356
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The relationship between motivation and recovery in anorexia nervosa has received increased attention in the research literature although few controlled investigations of increasing motivation in this population exist. Three questions were therefore examined in an inpatient anorexia nervosa population: (i) does baseline motivation predict change in eating pathology; (ii) does change in motivation predict change in eating pathology; and (iii) can we increase motivation to recover in this group?
Inpatients (n=47) in a specialist weight disorder unit with a mean age of 21.85 years (SD=5.37) were randomly allocated to receive four sessions of motivational interviewing with a novice therapist in addition to treatment as usual (n=22) or treatment as usual alone (n=25). Assessment of eating pathology and motivation to recover was conducted on three occasions: at admission (baseline), and at 2- and 6 week follow up. Eating pathology was assessed using the Eating Disorder Examination and self-reported motivation was assessed using the Anorexia Nervosa Stages of Change Questionnaire and six Likert scales.
Higher baseline motivation across five of the seven measures predicted significant decreases in eating pathology, and increased Anorexia Nervosa Stages of Change Questionnaire scores between baseline and 2 week follow up predicted significant improvement in eating pathology between baseline and 6 week follow up. Significantly more patients were lost to follow up from the treatment as usual compared to the motivational interviewing group. More patients in the motivational interviewing condition moved from low readiness to change at baseline to high readiness to change at 2 and 6 week follow up.
Motivation is an important predictor of change in anorexia nervosa and preliminary evidence is provided that motivation can be improved in this population. Further investigations, however, of ways of improving motivation in this population need to be conducted, along with the impact of motivational changes on treatment outcome.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a difficult to treat mental illness associated with low motivation for change. Despite criticisms of the transtheoretical stages of change model, both generally and in the eating disorders (EDs), this remains the only model to have been applied to the understanding of motivation to recover from AN. The aim of this pilot study was to determine whether the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) would provide a good fit for understanding and predicting motivation to recover from AN. Two studies were conducted – in the first study eight women who had recovered from chronic AN were interviewed about their experiences of recovery. The interview data were subsequently used to inform the development of a purpose-designed questionnaire to measure the components of the TPB in relation to recovery. In the second study, the resultant measure was administered to 67 females with a current diagnosis of AN, along with measures of eating disorder psychopathology, psychological symptoms, and an existing measure of motivation to recover (based on the transtheoretical model). Data from the interview study confirmed that the TPB is an appropriate model for understanding the factors that influence motivation to recover from AN. The results of the questionnaire study indicated that the pre-intention variables of the TPB accounted for large proportions of variance in the intention to recover (72%), and more specifically the intention to eat normally and gain weight (51%). Perceived behavioural control was the strongest predictor of intention to recover, while attitudes were more important in the prediction of the intention to eat normally/gain weight. The positive results suggest that the TPB is an appropriate model for understanding and predicting motivation in AN. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
    Appetite 11/2014; 84. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2014.10.028 · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Engaging patients with an eating disorder in change is difficult and intensive treatment programs have high drop-out rates. The purpose of the study was to determine whether Motivational Interviewing (MI) in the form of a brief, pre-treatment intervention would be associated with higher completion rates in subsequent intensive treatment for an eating disorder. Thirty-two participants diagnosed with an eating disorder participated in the study. All participants were on the waitlist for admission to an intensive, hospital-based treatment program. Sixteen participants were randomly assigned to four individual sessions of MI that began prior to entrance into the treatment program (MI condition) and 16 participants were assigned to treatment as usual (control condition). The main outcome was completion of the intensive treatment program. Participants also completed self-report measures of motivation to change.
    International Journal of Eating Disorders 08/2013; 1:34. DOI:10.1186/2050-2974-1-34 · 3.03 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Previous studies have predominantly evaluated the effectiveness of inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa at the group level. The aim of this study was to evaluate treatment outcomes at an individual level based on the clinical significance of improvement. Patients¿ treatment outcomes were classified into four groups: deteriorated, unchanged, reliably improved and clinically significantly improved. Furthermore, the study set out to explore predictors of clinically significant changes in eating disorder psychopathology.MethodsA total of 435 inpatients were assessed at admission and at discharge on the following measures: body-mass-index, eating disorder symptoms, general psychopathology, depression and motivation for change.Results20.0-32.0% of patients showed reliable changes and 34.1-55.3% showed clinically significant changes in the various outcome measures. Between 23.0% and 34.5% remained unchanged and between 1.7% and 3.0% deteriorated. Motivation for change and depressive symptoms were identified as positive predictors of clinically significant changes in eating disorder psychopathology, whereas body dissatisfaction, impulse regulation, social insecurity and education were negative predictors.Conclusions Despite high rates of reliable and clinically significant changes following intensive inpatient treatment, about one third of anorexia nervosa patients showed no significant response to treatment. Future studies should focus on the identification of non-responders as well as on the development of treatment strategies for these patients.
    BMC Psychiatry 09/2014; 14(1):258. DOI:10.1186/s12888-014-0258-z · 2.24 Impact Factor


Available from
Nov 7, 2014

Tracey D Wade