Motivation for change and psycho-education in the treatment of eating disorders
Objectives: The aim of Study One was to establish the construct validity of the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale (URICA) for use with an eating disorders population. Once done, than to use the scale to assess changes in motivation due to a brief psycho-education (PE) intervention (Study Two). Method: Study One: Clinical data from 160 participants was analysed; 24 diagnosed with anorexia nervosa (AN), 44 diagnosed with bulimia nervosa (BN), and 88 diagnosed with eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). Participants completed the URICA; the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-O); and the Stirling Eating Disorder Scales (SEDS). Study Two: Forty-five participants diagnosed with either AN, BN or EDNOS were recruited. Thirty-Two participants completed the URICA; EDE-Q; and SEDS at three time points; time1 (referral), time 2 (start of a 4-week group based Psycho-education (PE) intervention) and time 3 (end of PE intervention). Results: Study One: Similar to previous findings (McConnaughy et al., 1993, 1989), the URICA was found to be internally consistent (all coefficients exceeding 0.7) and principle component analysis revealed four stages of change (Precontemplation, Contemplation, Action and Maintenance) represented by high loadings on four distinct components. Adjacent stages of change were more highly correlated than non-adjacent stages. Study Two: Contrary to expectation, the PE intervention did not significantly enhance motivation for change. The PE intervention had no significant impact upon specific and non-specific eating disorder symptomatology. Conclusion: The URICA was found to be construct valid with individuals with a range of eating disorders. Further studies are required in order to justify the inclusion of a PE intervention as part of standard treatment for eating disorders.