Attitudes Toward Family-Based Treatment Impact Therapists’ Intent to Change Their Therapeutic Practice for Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa

Erin C. Accurso*, Daniel Le Grange, Andrea K. Graham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Community-based clinicians who treat patients with eating disorders rarely use empirically-supported treatments, and research demonstrates that clinicians make significant modifications when implementing family-based treatment (FBT) for anorexia nervosa. This study examined clinician attitudes toward FBT and explored the extent to which attitudes predicted intent to shift practices following training in FBT. Clinicians (N = 129) completed a standardized training in FBT for AN, either a two-day introductory training (n = 99) or a one-day “advanced” training (n = 30). Linear regressions were used to examine the association between therapists’ attitudes toward FBT and their intent to use strategies consistent with FBT in the future, adjusting for pre-training use of strategies. Providers reported very positive attitudes toward evidence-based practices in general and moderately positive attitudes toward FBT. There were no significant differences between “novice” and “advanced” providers on attitudes toward evidence-based practices or FBT (ps >.10). For the subset of providers attending their first training in FBT, more positive attitudes toward FBT significantly predicted greater intent to use FBT-consistent strategies (p =.004), and more positive attitudes toward evidence-based practice significantly predicted lesser intent to use FBT-inconsistent strategies (p =.009). This study suggests that both general attitudes toward evidence-based practice and specific attitudes toward FBT may impact implementation. Future research might examine whether a brief intervention to improve attitudes toward FBT might increase the likelihood of seeking expert consultation post-training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number305
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 23 2020

Keywords

  • children and adolescents
  • clinician attitudes
  • dissemination and implementation
  • eating disorders
  • family-based treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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