Aims

The aim of the intervention was to enhance and promote effective coping strategies for carers of individuals experiencing eating difficulties / disorders.

Overview

The intervention was grounded in health psychology and adopted a patient-centred, collaborative, integrative (in which multiple psychological models and theories are drawn on), non-directive and practical approach. Over five one and a half hour sessions (delivered across February and March 2018), the intervention included eating disorder psychoeducation, communication techniques (for communication with a sufferer and communicating needs as a carer) including Motivational Interviewing, stress and relaxation and effective goal setting. Twelve individuals attended and homework tasks were set each week.

Outcomes

Overall, the intervention was a success. There were evidently improvements in coping as measured by the Brief Cope Inventory. Unfortunately it was not possible to track all clients throughout the intervention due to missing data or non-attendance. However, interestingly and positively, for those clients who could be tracked, the majority reported improvements in acceptance and self-blame. Improvements in general wellbeing were also observed (measured pre- and post-intervention using the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale). A reduction in the negative impact the caring role (and associated situations) was having on individual’s daily life was also reported, using a pre- and post-intervention scale measure (from zero to ten).

Feedback

On average, usefulness of and satisfaction with the intervention were scored at four out of five. Informal feedback suggested the social support and social interaction aspect was the most valued. 100% of clients stated they would recommend the intervention and 100% of clients who responded to the question “would you be happy to pay a small fee to attend this intervention”, responded with a “yes”. Clients mostly strongly agreed or agreed with statements relating to the intervention (e.g. “the content covered was relevant to me”), the facilitator (e.g. “the facilitator was good at explaining things”), the environment (“I felt comfortable in the environment”) and the process (e.g. “the booking process was not problematic”). Additional comments included “all sessions were professionally given”, “it has all been informative, relevant and so so helpful” and “I think it was a success and I certainly enjoyed it”