A pilot study with adaptations to the Maudsley Method approach on workshops for carers of people with eating disorders

Publication Date12 December 2016
AuthorStephen Linacre,Jessica Green,Vishal Sharma
SubjectHealth & social care,Mental health
A pilot study with adaptations to the
Maudsley Method approach on
workshops for carers of people with
eating disorders
Stephen Linacre, Jessica Green and Vishal Sharma
Stephen Linacre is a Clinical
Psychologist at the Learning
Disabilities Services, Derbyshire
Community Health Services
NHS Trust, Chesterfield, UK.
Jessica Green is a Trainee
Clinical Psychologist at the
University of Manchester,
Manchester, UK.
Vishal Sharma is a PhD Student
at the University of Leeds,
Leeds, UK.
Purpose Carers of people with eating disorders (EDs) experience high levels of burden which can lead to
clinical levels of depression and anxiety, high levels of expressed emotion and can lead to a non-conducive
environment to support recovery. The Maudsley Method skills-based workshops can empower carers to
support people with ED to move towards recovery, reduce carer burden and high levels of distress.
The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Design/methodology/approach Adaptations have been made to the Maudsley Method skills based
workshops to include evidence based approaches from cognitive remediation therapy; mindfulness and
acceptance commitment therapy. The adapted workshops were assessedvia a pilot study with ten carers of
people with ED using a mixed method design. The Experience of Caregiving Inventory and SF-36 were used
to assess aspects of caregiving and carer wellbeing, respectively pre and post intervention.Thematic analysis
was used to evaluate carersviews on the intervention.
Findings Results indicated that carers reduced their level of burden particularly in their experience of
stigma, dependency and loss. Furthermore, positive aspects of the relationship with the person with the ED
improved. Thematic analysis was used to obtain feedback from carers of the workshops. Qualitative data
identified that carers improved their self-awareness, understanding of ED and the techniques they could use,
and increased their social support.
Research limitations/implications Further research is required to compare the original workshops with
this adapted intervention.
Originality/value Although this is a pilot study, the results suggest that further evidence based
interventions could be added to the Maudsley Method approach to support carers.
Keywords Eating disorders, Carer burden, Carer wellbeing, Maudsley Method, Skill-based workshops
Paper type Research paper
Carers of people with eating disorders (EDs) can experience high levels of burden (Zabala et al.,
2009), guilt (Kyriacou et al., 2008a), and can feel stigmatised by the misconception that they are
to blame (McCormack and McCann, 2015). This belief can strain relationships with parents
(Hillege et al., 2006), partners (Fischer et al., 2015) and/or siblings (Dimitropoulos et al., 2009),
leading to high levels of expressed emotion (EE) (Duclos et al., 2012) and result in carers using
accommodating and enabling behaviours to cope (Treasure et al., 2008). Salerno et al. (2016)
have shown that patients with carers who exhibit high levels of accommodating behaviour have
poorer outcomes, whereas those with carers who exhibit no accommodating and enabling
behaviours have improved outcomes.
Received 28 May 2016
Revised 12 September 2016
Accepted 20 October 2016
DOI 10.1108/MHRJ-05-2016-0010 VOL. 21 NO. 4 2016, pp. 295-307, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 1361-9322
PAG E 29 5

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