A multi-modal evaluation of an integrated treatment program for college women with eating problems
Marek, Lydia I.
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This study evaluated an integrated treatment program that was provided for college women with self-identified eating problems, both clinical and subclinical, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The treatment model is based upon the biopsychosocial model integrating treatment from each of these dimensions: biological, psychological, and social. Eleven college students were self-referred and participated in bi-weekly nutritional counseling (biological), bi-weekly individual psychotherapy (psychological), and weekly group psychotherapy (social) over the course of one college semester. Details concerning these therapies are included. An evaluation was performed of both behavioral and psychosocial outcomes using both quantitative and qualitative data. Data were organized within the framework of the biopsychosocial model. Quantitative data (Eating Disorders Inventory-2, Eating Disorders Inventory Symptom Checklist, Beck’s Depression Inventory, Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale, Initial Questionnaire) indicated improvement in depression scores (biological/psychological), sense of effectiveness, impulse regulation, confidence in their ability to change (psychological), asceticism and body image (psychological/social), as well as a decrease in overexercise and binge eating. Recurrent themes that emerged through the qualitative data (individual interviews at the end of the treatment program and focus group interviews) included biological themes: changing eating patterns, need for general and personalized nutritional information; psychological themes: exploration of emotions, need to feel understood, setting goals, self care, need for personal understanding and identification of needs, and body image; and social themes: sharing with others, social connectedness, and family relations. These themes are discussed to provide a better understanding of the process of participating in this program for the participants as well as providing an evaluation of this program. Suggestions for future programs and research as well as issues concerning program delivery, methodology, and other considerations are explored.
- Doctoral Dissertations