An investigation of the impact of a workshop teaching advanced skills for working with eating disorders

Dorbeck, Anderson (2018) An investigation of the impact of a workshop teaching advanced skills for working with eating disorders. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Eating disorders are a serious mental health issue which affect children and youth disproportionately. Those affected by eating disorders often fail to present for treatment and when they do they may be misdiagnosed and/or ineffectively treated. Some of the factors contributing to ineffective service provision are inadequate knowledge, confidence, and skills related to eating disorder assessment and treatment among health care professionals. Continuing education is an important way to improve health professionals’ capacity for managing eating disorders. This study used the Theory of Planned Behaviour and Umble et al.’s (2000) behaviour change model to guide the evaluation of a two-day advanced workshop designed to teach Emotion-Focused Therapy and Family-Based Therapy skills to health professionals across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The intervention was evaluated with a pre/post/12-month follow-up design to examine the impact of the workshop on attendees’ knowledge (self-rated and tested), confidence, attitudes, motivation to change, and behaviour related to treatment of eating disorders. Results indicated that participants (N = 78) had significantly increased confidence and self-rated and tested knowledge from pre- to post-workshop, and these improvements were maintained at follow-up. Motivation to change behaviour (to use workshop skills and practice more interprofessionally) and attitudes towards interprofessional collaboration did not significantly change. Participants reported significantly increased use of techniques taught in the workshop at follow-up compared to pre-workshop. In summary, this workshop was effective at changing knowledge, confidence, and behaviour, but did not change collaborative attitudes or motivation to change behaviour. Strengths of this research include the mixed methods of investigation used, and the high pre- and post-workshop participation rate. Limitations include its quasi-experimental design, and participant drop-out at follow-up. Future research could examine the impact of continuing education for eating disorders on patient outcomes, the impact of a higher dose of continuing education sessions on behaviour change, and the impact of education for patients and families upon rates of health care services accessed for eating disorders.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 13195
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 133-146).
Keywords: Eating disorders, Continuing education, Practice change, Emotion focused therapy, Workshop, Behaviour change, Family based therapy
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: May 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Eating disorders -- Treatment -- Study and teaching

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