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Keywords:

  • adolescent;
  • bulimia;
  • carer mental health

Abstract

Objective:

This exploratory study focuses on the mental health (MH) and caregiving experience of carers of adolescents with Bulimia Nervosa (BN)/Eating Disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), aiming to determine: levels of MH problems in carers and if a negative experience of caregiving predicts carer MH status and which factors predict a negative experience of caregiving.

Method:

Hundred and twelve carers and 68 adolescents with BN/EDNOS completed self-report measures (General Health Questionnaire, Experience of Caregiving Inventory, Level of Expressed Emotion, Self-report Family Inventory, Inventory of Interpersonal Problems).

Results:

Over half of the carers reported some MH problems and a minority (5.4%) were experiencing considerable difficulties. A negative experience of caregiving predicted carer MH status. Higher weekly contact hours and patient ratings of expressed emotion (EE) predicted a negative experience of caregiving.

Conclusions:

Interventions focusing on reducing EE and contact hours could prove beneficial for both patient and caregiver outcomes. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006