The assessment of the family of people with eating disorders

Psychological Medicine Department, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.
European Eating Disorders Review (Impact Factor: 1.38). 07/2008; 16(4):247-55. DOI: 10.1002/erv.859
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for eating disorders recommend that carers should be provided with information and support and that their needs should be considered if relevant. The aim of this paper is to describe how to structure an assessment of carers needs so that the family factors that can contribute to the maintenance of eating disorder symptoms are examined. We describe in detail the pattern of interpersonal reactions that can result when a family member has an eating disorder. Shared traits such as anxiety, compulsivity and abnormal eating behaviours contribute to some of the misperceptions, misunderstandings and confusion about the meaning of the eating disorder for family members. Unhelpful attributions can fuel a variety of emotional reactions (criticism, hostility, overprotection, guilt and shame). Gradually these forces cause family members to accommodate to the illness or be drawn in to enable some of the core symptoms.

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    ABSTRACT: AimAnorexia Nervosa (AN) is a complex and clinically challenging syndrome. Intended for specialist audiences, this narrative review aims to summarise the available literature related to assessment in the adult patient context, synthesising both research evidence and clinical consensus guidelines.MethodWe provide a review of the available literature on specialist assessment of AN focusing on common trajectories into assessment, obstacles accessing assessment, common presenting issues and barriers to the assessment process, the necessary scope of assessment, and tools and techniques. It describes the further step of synthesising assessment information in ways that can inform resultant care plans.ResultsIn addition to assessment of core behaviours and diagnostic skills, considerations for the expert assessor include the functions of primary care, systemic and personal barriers, knowledge of current assessment tools and research pertaining to comorbid pathology in AN, assessing severity of illness, role of family at assessment, as well as medical, nutritional and compulsory elements of assessment.ConclusionComprehensive assessment of AN in the current healthcare context still remains largely the remit of the specialist ED clinician. Assessment should remain an on-going process, paying particular attention to available empirical evidence, thereby reducing the gap between research and practice.
    International Journal of Eating Disorders 08/2013; 1:29. DOI:10.1186/2050-2974-1-29 · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eating Disorders (ED) are often severe illnesses entailing a heavy burden for families. Family therapy is recommended for young patients, but only a few studies have investigated therapeutic interventions with families tailored also to adult and longstanding patients. We recruited 87 families with daughters affected by an ED, aiming to assess the effectiveness of eight sessions of parent counselling. The primary outcome was the improvement of parents' coping abilities to achieve more effective support skills. Before treatment, 54% of parents showed poor coping resources whereas 43.7% of the sample improved after parent counselling. Parents with good coping resources responded significantly better to this treatment. Although future research is warranted, these preliminary findings support the effectiveness of parent counselling in ED.
    British Journal of Guidance and Counselling 08/2013; 41(4). DOI:10.1080/03069885.2012.729025 · 0.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Caring for someone diagnosed with an eating disorder (ED) is associated with a high level of burden and psychological distress which can inadvertently contribute to the maintenance of the illness. The Eating Disorders Symptom Impact Scale (EDSIS) and Accommodation and Enabling Scale for Eating Disorders (AESED) are self-report scales to assess elements of caregiving theorised to contribute to the maintenance of an ED. Further validation and confirmation of the factor structures for these scales are necessary for rigorous evaluation of complex interventions which target these modifiable elements of caregiving. Method: EDSIS and AESED data from 268 carers of people with anorexia nervosa (AN), recruited from consecutive admissions to 15 UK inpatient or day patient hospital units, were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis to test model fit by applying the existing factor structures: (a) four-factor structure for the EDSIS and (b) five-factor structure for the AESED. Results: Confirmatory factor analytic results support the existing four-factor and five-factor structures for the EDSIS and the AESED, respectively. Discussion: The present findings provide further validation of the EDSIS and the AESED as tools to assess modifiable elements of caregiving for someone with an ED.
    03/2014; 2(1):322-334. DOI:10.1080/21642850.2014.894889

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