Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.
By: Dr. P. Scott Richards, PhD, Research Director
At the Center for Change, we use a variety of measures to assess patients’ progress, including patients’ self-reports, therapist ratings, and objective measures such as body weight. We assess specific eating disorder symptomatic behaviors such as bingeing, purging, and food restriction as well as beliefs about food, dieting, body shape, and so on. We also assess patients’ general psychological functioning by using measures of depression, anxiety, self-esteem, interpersonal relations, social role functioning, spiritual well-being, and loneliness.
Outcome Summary – The attached figures illustrate the types and amounts of change achieved by patients who were admitted to the Center for Change inpatient treatment program from August, 1996 through December, 1997. Self-reports show that the frequency with which patients engaged in eating disorder behaviors (bingeing, purging, laxative abuse, and restricting/skipping meals) drastically declined during their participation in the Center for Change inpatient program. The CFC inpatient treatment program milieu helps most patients gain control of and cease their disordered eating behaviors. This conclusion is substantiated further by the data presented in figure 1. Here it can be seen that on the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT), a standardized measure of eating disorder symptoms (e.g., anxiety about eating, preoccupation with food, vomiting, dieting, weighing oneself frequently, etc.), CFC patients’ scores declined from 60.22 before treatment to 30.71 after inpatient treatment. This is a very large decline in eating disorder symptoms and concerns; in fact, scores falling below 30 on the EAT Test fall into the normal range. Thus, on average, when they complete inpatient treatment, CFC patients’ concerns about food, dieting, and weight are much less intense and are close to the normal range for women.
Figure 2 illustrates that on the Body Shape Questionnaire, a standardized measure of women’s concerns about their body shape and size (e.g., feeling too fat, wanting to be thinner, feeling ashamed of one’s body), CFC patients’ scores declined from 143.7 to 116.3. This is a large decline, and it can again be seen that on the average, when they complete inpatient treatment, CFC patients’ concerns about their body shape and size are much less intense and are close to the normal range for women.
Figure 3 illustrates that on the Outcome Questionnaire 45.2, a standardized measure of psychiatric symptoms, interpersonal relationship distress, and social role conflict, CFC patients’ scores declined from being clinically elevated (abnormal, disturbed range) to normal ranges. Thus, after participating in the CFC inpatient program, on the average, CFC patients’ psychiatric symptoms, interpersonal relationship distress, and social role conflict were all much less intense and were comparable to those of normal functioning people.
On the Multidimensional Self-Esteem Inventory (MSEI), a standardized measure of self-esteem, CFC patients’ scores increased from an extremely low average of 27.9 to an average score of 39.3 which is only slightly below the normal range. Thus after participating in the CFC inpatient program, on the average, CFC patients’ feelings of self-esteem had improved significantly and were more comparable to the feelings of self-esteem reported by normal functioning college students.
The Existential Well-Being Scale, a standardized measure of life satisfaction and life direction, CFC patients’ scores increased from 35.1 to 43.8. This is a sizable increase and it can be seen that, on the average, CFC patients’ feelings of life satisfaction and life direction were less positive and optimistic before treatment but were more positive and fell in the normal range after they had completed the CFC inpatient treatment program.