Developing a Recovery Based Quality of Life Service for People with Severe and Enduring Eating Disorders

Leader(s)Emma-Jayne Hagerty, Beverly Williams and Victoria Richards
LocationAneurin Bevan Health Board
DurationDecember 2012 – December 2013
Received for PublicationApril 2015

People diagnosed with an eating disorder are recognised as having complex mental disorders that compromise a person’s physical, psychological and social wellbeing (NICE, 2004). For a small number of people they can be severe and enduring or even life threatening (Welsh Assembly Government, 2009). The aim of this project was to work in collaboration with patients to develop and implement a group for people with severe and enduring eating disorders within Aneurin Bevan Health Board with a focus on improving the quality of life of those involved.

A number of methods were used in the project including patient interviews, patient focus group, staff engagement activities and the development and implementation of the quality of life group. The quality of life group was run on a weekly basis for two hours. The first hour was led by clinicians and focused on teaching coping behaviours and the second half was focused on social or creative activities. In total 25 sessions were run and the three ladies that took part in the group were able to show an increased motivation to change behaviours towards their eating disorder.

A major objective for the tier 3 eating disorder service is to continue developing as a service, including developing new and effective treatment packages. This project enabled the service to work collaboratively with patients to challenge the idea that treatment had to focus on weight gain and provided an opportunity to explore how an eating disorder impacts on quality of life and explore ways of improving this while not focusing on changing eating disorder behaviours.

The project team were enthusiastic and motivated to find a more effective way of working with a patient group who historically are difficult to engage in treatment options. They were also motivated to challenge their own practice and consider new ways of working. This project provided the team with an opportunity to do this.

This project was supported by the Foundation of Nursing Studies Patients First Programme in partnership with the Burdett Trust for Nursing.

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