Perceived confidence, competence and training in evidence-based treatments for eating disorders : a survey of clinicians in an Australian regional health service
Lakeman, R & McIntosh, C 2018, 'Perceived confidence, competence and training in evidence-based treatments for eating disorders : a survey of clinicians in an Australian regional health service', Australasian Psychiatry.
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Objectives: Eating disorders (EDs) are challenging to treat and contribute to considerable morbidity and mortality. This study sought to identify the educational preparedness, competence and confidence of clinicians to work with people with EDs; and to identify how services might be improved.
Methods: Clinicians who worked in the emergency department, medical, paediatric wards and mental health services were invited to complete an online survey.
Results: From the 136 surveys returned, 73% of respondents reported little or no confidence working with EDs. There was a strong linear correlation between perceived confidence and competence and hours of education. Those with 70 or more hours of self-reported training were 2.7 times more likely to rate themselves as both confident and competent. Improving services for people with eating disorders included the provision of appropriate training, improving access to services including psychotherapy, and facilitating consistency in and continuity of care.
Conclusions: To increase the confidence and competence of the workforce, regular training around EDs should be undertaken. The establishment of a specialist team to provide services across the continuum of care for people with severe or complex EDs appears warranted in a regional health service.