Family-Based Treatment: Finding Satisfaction for All Family Members

Two-parent families were more satisfied with treatment.

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
July/August 2011 Volume 22, Number 4
©2011 Gürze Books

According to Sherry Van Blyderveen, PhD, of McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, treatment of young patients struggling with eating disorders is different from that of older patients. First, treatment is largely imposed on these patients, who value their eating disorders, and many young patients subsequently drop out of treatment prematurely.

As Dr. Van Blyderveen and colleagues reported at the at the International Conference on Eating Disorders in Miami in April, few studies have evaluated patient satisfaction with treatment for an eating disorder, and even fewer have considered measuring the family’s satisfaction with family-based treatment. The authors assessed patient and parent satisfaction with a pediatric eating disorders outpatient program at an academic teaching hospital, and determined correlates of satisfaction.

Forty-seven patients, their parents, and therapists all completed the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ-18). Factors considered as possible correlates for both patient and parent satisfaction included those related to the patient (e.g., age, diagnosis, symptom severity, comorbidity, substance abuse), or to the family (one or two-parent family; parents’ mental health), and to treatment (physical distance and travel time from home to the hospital; family-based therapy and the phase of treatment; degree of patient autonomy regarding food selection, consumption, and exercise; proportion of FBT, relative to individual, treatment provided; provision of adjuncts to treatment; key issues addressed in therapy; and therapeutic challenges).

Another factor: Less travel time to treatment

The researchers found that two-parent families and those who had less travel time to the treatment center were more satisfied with treatment programs. The greater the severity of the youth’s binge eating, purging, restriction, and physical activity, the less satisfied youth and parents were. When young patients had greater autonomy over their own diet and nutrition and were closer to their target weight, their satisfaction and parents’ satisfaction was greater. Young patients who were allowed more physical activity also reported greater satisfaction with their treatment.

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