A pilot study of associations between treatment for Anorexia Nervosa and carer's distress

Judith Slater, Janet Treasure, Ulrike Schmidt, Peter Gilchrist, Tracey Wade

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    6 Citations (Scopus)


    In order to investigate the degree to which symptom reduction in the treatment of adults with anorexia nervosa (AN) impacted on their carers' psychological distress, we examined 12 participants in an outpatient treatment trial and their nominated 'significant other'. Measures of eating psychopathology in the person being treated for AN were collected on six occasions: baseline, session 4, session 10, session 25 (end of treatment), and at three-month and 12-month follow-up. At these same time points, measures of psychological distress were collected from carers. Early significant reductions in eating psychopathology were found in the AN group at session 4, whereas significant reductions in carers' distress were found at three-month follow-up and maintained at 12-month follow-up. These reductions were moderated by baseline body mass index of the person with AN. Carers whose significant other had a lower BMI at baseline received most benefit in terms of symptom reduction at 12-month follow-up. Clinical implications include the need to provide more direct support to carers in order to achieve more clinically significant reductions in distress, and the need to discuss a carer's expectations of the recovery process.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)372-376
    Number of pages5
    JournalClinical Psychology & Psychotherapy
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


    • Anorexia nervosa
    • Carer
    • Eating psychopathology
    • Psychological distress


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