Aim: Early intervention in eating disorders (EDs) is hampered by a lack of validated measures of barriers to treatment seeking. The present study examined the factor structure of the Perceived Barriers to Psychological Treatment scale (PBPT) and a combination of PBPT and Barriers to Seeking Help for ED items (BATSH-ED) with respect to treatment-seeking for an ED. Method: Participants were 456 female university students aged 17–25 reporting a wide range of disordered eating severity. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted with the whole sample followed by correlational and regression analyses with a high-risk sample to assess validity of the selected questionnaire items. Results: Four models were tested. First, we replicated the original PBPT 8-factor structure in our sample with comparable fit indices. Second, the addition of six ED items comprising a Denial and Ambivalence subscale improved model fit. Third and fourth, when only significant subscales predicting treatment seeking were retained, with removal of items with weak loadings, a 15-item six-factor solution provided a best fit. A range of psychosocial measures had relationships in the expected directions with the questionnaire subscales. In addition to disordered eating, the denial subscale was uniquely associated with treatment seeking. Conclusions: While the present study contributes to refining the assessment of barriers to help-seeking, future studies should consider co-design with lived experience to further improve the model fit of the questionnaire and improve predictiveness of help-seeking.
- eating disorders
- treatment seeking