Evaluating Evidence-Based Interventions in Low Socio-Economic-Status Populations.

Marcela Radunz, Luke Pritchard, Eloisa Steen, Paul Williamson, Tracey Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective
Socio-economic-status (SES) has rarely been reported or investigated in eating disorders (EDs) research. This Research Forum considers, from various perspectives, how SES may impact on evaluating evidence-based treatments for EDs.

Method
We first reviewed previous literature that informs how SES impacts prevalence of EDs, help-seeking, and treatment outcome. We then present findings from a case series effectiveness study of an early intervention program in low SES areas for EDs and discuss implications about the impact of SES on the effectiveness of evidence-based interventions. Finally, we examine barriers to conducting rigorous evaluations in this population and discuss directions for future treatment outcome research.

Results
Evidence suggests a higher level of disordered eating but less help seeking in lower SES groups. In our case series, 96 participants started treatment and completed a mean of 13.85 sessions, 84 (87.5%) completed a mean of 6.40 sessional measures on ED cognitions and behaviors, but only 31% completed more extensive pre-treatment and post-treatment measures. The completer effect size decrease for the global Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire score was 2.05 (95% CI: 1.43, 2.68) commensurate with other effectiveness studies in mixed SES groups. The high rates of missing data related to more extensive assessment present a barrier to evaluating evidence-based treatments in this population.

Discussion
Evidence from the present study revealed individuals from low SES can achieve similar treatment outcomes to other populations when receiving evidence-based ED treatment. Future studies should investigate a range of approaches to maximizing data collection, including use of shorter sessional measures.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Early online date18 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • early intervention
  • eating disorders
  • evidence-based
  • socio-economic-status
  • treatment

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