Research & Treatment
The Center for Change eating disorder treatment program is based on cutting-edge research into eating disorders. The Center also conducts and publishes its own research on eating disorders, including on-going treatment outcome research. As new innovations in treating disorders are proven effective, they are incorporated into the Center for Change treatment program to enhance its effectiveness.
In keeping with current research findings and clinical guidelines, and in order to provide the best possible services in the most cost-effective manner, Center for Change offers a multi-dimensional, multi-disciplinary, stepped-care treatment program. Each client who comes to the Center for treatment participates in an ongoing comprehensive assessment which begins with an evaluation of their physical status, eating disorder history, associated psychiatric disturbances, substance use patterns, developmental history, family history and a thorough family interview. Based on this assessment, one or more levels of care will be recommended, depending on the severity of the client’s symptoms and specific eating disorder.
Our Treatment Focus
The Center’s primary focus is the treatment of women suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Related characteristics treated include malnourishment, poor self-esteem, feelings of helplessness, family conflicts and traumatic life events such as abuse and sexual trauma. Other co-existing disorders such as depression, substance abuse, anxiety and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are also treated.
Center for Change specializes in the treatment of women because they represent 90-95 percent of the population suffering from eating disorders. Many of the women treated have conditions that have progressed to the point where they are unable to function independently or effectively in their family, work, school or social settings.
Our Research Department’s Mission
The mission of Center for Change’s research department is to conduct research and collect data that will (1) document the effectiveness of the Center’s treatment programs, (2) help increase the effectiveness of the Center’s treatment programs, (3) give the Center recognition in the eating disorders treatment field, and (4) contribute to new discoveries and better understanding about how to effectively treat eating disorders.
The personnel in the Center for Change research department believe that it is essential for professionals who treat patients with eating disorders to monitor the effectiveness and outcomes of their interventions with carefully conducted research. We believe that research is essential for documenting and improving the effectiveness of eating disorder treatment programs and for increasing professionals’ understanding of these disorders. We believe that as the findings of our research, and the research of others, is made available to the treatment staff at Center for Change, the effectiveness of the Center’s treatment programs will continue to increase. We also believe that our research may contribute to other professionals’ ability to more effectively treat patients with eating disorders.
Research Department Staff
The Research Department at Center for Change includes:
Scott Richards, PhD, Research Director (independent contractor)
Reid Robison, MD, Medical Director, Center for Change
Nicole Hawkins, PhD, CEO, Center for Change
Center for Change Outcome Research Program
Since Center for Change opened its doors in 1996, we have conducted outcome research to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of our treatment program. We have published reports of our research in professional journals and books (e.g., Richards, Hardman, & Berrett, 2007). We use a variety of measures to assess patients’ progress. 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 and spiritual functioning by using measures of depression, anxiety, self-esteem, interpersonal relations, social role functioning, loneliness, and spiritual well-being. All patients are assessed on the above dimensions when they are admitted to our inpatient and residential treatment programs and, if possible, when they are discharged from the program. We also conduct periodic follow-up surveys with former patients from 3 months to 10 years after they complete treatment to assess their long-term progress and recovery rates. Below is a brief summary of the major findings of our treatment outcome research: