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Title: The development and feasibility testing of an eating disorders training programme for UK school staff
Author: Hesmondhalgh, Pooky Knightsmith
ISNI:       0000 0004 5350 0260
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Aims: The overall aims of this thesis were (1) to develop an eating disorders training programme for school staff, informed by stakeholder (student, staff) views and designed to improve staff’s confidence, attitudes and knowledge in recognising and managing student eating disorders and (2) to carry out a feasibility study of this programme. Method: In Studies 1 and 2, 11-19 year old school students (n= 511) and school staff (n=826) completed online questionnaires exploring their respective experiences and complementing perspectives of eating disorders in an integrated way. In Study 3, focus groups were conducted with 63 members of staff from 29 UK schools with the aims of (a) capturing their views on their ability to identify and manage student eating disorders and any obstacles to this, and (b) to identify any specific training needs in this area that school staff may have and to generate recommendations based on these. In study 4, an eating disorders training programme was developed with input from school staff and clinicians and informed by the findings from studies 1-3. 45 school staff took part in the one day face to face eating disorders training programme and completed a questionnaire about their eating disorder knowledge, attitude and confidence prior to the intervention, immediately post intervention and again three months later. The significance of intragroup changes over time was determined using generalised estimating equations (GEE) models. Results: Studies 1-3 indicated that both students and staff felt that eating disorder training for school staff would be beneficial but that such training was not currently widely available. Students and staff then went on to make recommendations for the development of a training intervention for school staff. The intervention was tested in study 4 and was found to have a significant positive impact on school staff’s self-reported confidence, attitudes and knowledge about eating disorders with medium to large effect sizes of 0.7, 0.8 and 0.8 respectively. These gains were universally maintained at follow-up three months later. Conclusions: The promising results of the feasibility study provide strong motivation and sound indicators for further research in this emerging field. A large scale evaluation of the teacher training using a fully powered stepped wedge design is recommended as the next step.
Supervisor: Schmidt, Ulrike Hermine; Treasure, Janet Linda Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available