Improving Outcomes: Effectiveness of Caregiver Psychoeducation and Skills Training
Davis, Janelle L.
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Eating disorders disrupt the lives of many people, and can take a heavy toll on the patient and their caregivers. Many different methods have been created to overcome these disorders. One such method, group parent training, does not treat the patient but helps educate and support those who care for the patient in order that they may be in a better place to help the patient. The current study was proposed to test the effectiveness of a training group for caregivers of people diagnosed with an eating disorder in Southwest Michigan. Caregiver and parent support groups for eating disorders are not well studied and only a few institutions include them as part of their existing therapy programs. Those institutions demonstrate OPT's effectiveness at helping parents understand the therapy their child is undergoing as well as to help the parents become a more effective member in the treatment. For this experiment, effectiveness was broken into two testable components: effectiveness at reducing caregiver stress level and effectiveness at helping caregivers feel empowered to help with problem behaviors. Twenty participants attended the monthly meetings. At each meeting the caregivers were taught a skill and allowed to connect with other members. At the first and at the last meetings, two questionnaires were distributed as the pre-test and post-test measures: the brief symptoms inventory (BSI) and the behavior management questionnaire (BMQ). The stress scores were found from the BSI scores and from the BMQ information was gathered about problem behaviors and caregiver confidence in helping with them. A third questionnaire was given on the last meeting as a way to assess caregiver satisfaction and provide feedback for useful editing of the groups curricula. Reduction in the BSI and an increase in BMQ scores would show GPT as effective in this setting.