An Early Digital Resource for Enhancing Recovery Motivation for Eating Disorders: Users’ Perspectives

This source preferred by Sarah Muir

Authors: Williams, S., Newell, C., Sivyer, K., Thomas, S. and Griffiths, J.

Start date: 23 September 2013

Background: The earlier an eating disorder is treated the better the outcome. However, there are current problems with early intervention that may be solved with the development of a digital resource aimed at enhancing recovery motivation prior to any formal treatment.

Current problems in early intervention include characteristics that are inherent to the eating disorder and issues with the access and availability of ED services. Recovery from eating disorders is difficult and patients can perceive a functional role of their behaviours which result in ambivalence about treatment and a low motivation to change. Furthermore, long waiting lists for formal treatment mean there are current problems with treatment engagement and retention: often a quarter of patients do not attend an assessment for specialist treatment and as many as half do not complete a full treatment programme. This can lead to significant levels of unrecognised and untreated morbidity in this population. Improving the initial response to this group by offering a digital resource at the point of referral and before formal treatment could increase motivation, reduce time to intervention and allow for more efficient use of services.

Objective: The objective of the digital resource is to supplement the traditional care pathway for adults with eating disorders by providing information about recovery, motivation enhancement tools and social support. The intervention will be delivered at the point of referral to secondary care whilst patients would usually be on a waiting list for assessment. The aim of the intervention is to prepare patients for treatment and enhance motivation to recover, therefore I improving treatment engagement and retention once patients attend usual care.

Method: We are currently developing the early digital resource with people with a history of eating disorders and local service staff. This co-development process ensures that the resulting resource is both acceptable and will feasibly work in practice.

The digital resource will consist of 6 short online sessions based on information, interactive motivation tools, personal recovery stories and initial contact (via online communication) with the treatment team. The potential for integrating mobile apps for early self-monitoring and social media as additional support is also being investigated. Once developed, the intervention will be qualitatively piloted with target users recruited from the local eating disorder charity (n = 15) to understand their perceptions of the resource. Users will be asked to think out loud as they use the sessions allowing us to gather real-time data about its usability, acceptability and further suggestions for development. Interviews will be tape recorded and analysed using a thematic analysis approach.

Results: Work in progress. This poster presentation we will briefly describe the final digital resource resulting from the co-development process and present qualitative data regarding user’s experiences of using it.

The data on this page was last updated at 04:55 on April 21, 2019.