Group motivational enhancement therapy as an adjunct to inpatient treatment for eating disorders: a preliminary study


  • Parts of this manuscript were presented in poster form at the Annual Meeting of the Eating Disorders Research Society, Port Douglas, QLD, Australia, September 2006.


Difficulties in fostering eating disorder (ED) patients' motivations to overcome their illness are widely considered to be a major hurdle in the course of successful treatment. However, no previous study has assessed the use of interventions specifically designed to target poor motivation amongst patients with illnesses that are severe enough to warrant hospitalisation.


A brief Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) group programme for inpatient ED sufferers was developed and evaluated.


Forty two consecutive inpatients were sequentially allocated to treatment groups. Twenty three inpatients completed a four session MET group programme in addition to routine hospital care. A control group of 19 participants completed treatment as usual (TAU).


Despite an absence of significant differences between the MET and the TAU groups on the overall formal outcome measures, there were nevertheless differences between the groups. Specifically, the MET groups appeared to foster longer term motivation and engagement, and to promote treatment continuation.


The results tentatively suggest that MET could be valuable for the treatment of inpatient eating disorder patients and further research is warranted. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.