J Eat Disord. 2022 Jun 14;10(1):80. doi: 10.1186/s40337-022-00601-1.
BACKGROUND: Although eating disorders cause significant impairment to an individual’s function, many people disengage from treatment. There is a paucity of literature that focuses on both positive and negative aspects of eating disorder treatment experiences as perceived by the experiencing person. This study aimed to identify the associations between features of therapy with perceived treatment helpfulness across individuals’ most and least helpful treatment experiences.
METHODS: An online cross-sectional survey was developed and disseminated, with the data of participants (n = 235) being utilised for statistical analyses, including multiple linear regressions.
RESULTS: As predicted, factors in the therapeutic relationship such as the therapist’s ability to instil a sense of hope, provide freedom of choice, understand the person, and address participant concerns had significant explanatory value in perceived treatment helpfulness. Contrary to our hypothesis, change being retrospectively identified as important or possible by the participant did not have a high degree of relation. These outcomes highlighted the significance of the therapeutic relationship in governing positive treatment experiences and responses. The results also suggested motivation to change when commencing treatment may not be strongly related to perceived treatment helpfulness and support further exploration.