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Keywords:

  • motivational enhancement therapy;
  • eating disorders;
  • ambivalence

Abstract

Eating disorder patients are notoriously ambivalent about treatment and often lack motivation to change. These characteristics may decrease the number of patients entering treatment and increase the number of patients dropping out of treatment prematurely.

Objective

The aim of this pilot study was to develop and evaluate a motivational enhancement therapy (MET) group program for eating disorder patients. The goal of the MET intervention was to increase participants' motivation to change, which might be expected to increase the success of future treatment of patients with eating disorders.

Method

Nineteen individuals who were referred for specialized treatment took part in the study. The intervention was based on existing literature in the field of addictions and modified for eating disorders.

Results

The motivational measures suggested that the participants' motivation to change increased following the intervention. A decrease in depressive symptoms and an increase in self-esteem were also found.

Discussion

The results of this study suggest that MET could be valuable for the treatment of eating disorder patients and provide a rationale to conduct further research in this area. © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 29:393–400, 2001.