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The Efficacy of Motivational Interviewing and Adapted Motivational Interviewing as an Eating Disorder Intervention: A Scoping Review

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In any given year, approximately 25 million Canadians aged 15 years and older are at risk for developing an eating disorder (ED). Eating disorders (EDs) have the highest mortality rate among all mental disorders and patients have been found to be ambivalent to change. Thus, recent attention has been given to interventions focusing on enhancing patients’ readiness to change. To that end, the two-fold purpose of this scoping review was to: (1) ascertain if MI and/or adapted MI improved ED patients’ readiness to change, and (2) examine the effectiveness of MI and adapted MI on improving eating pathology. Ten studies were included in this review based on the inclusion criteria. Seven studies reported MI and adapted MI increased readiness to change from pre- to post-treatment and/or follow-up. Of these studies, five only found increases in readiness to change in the treatment group. In opposition to the other findings, Treasure et al. reported a significant increase in readiness to change in both groups, with this increase being greater in the comparison group. Three studies found non-significant changes in readiness to change; Weiss et al. reported no changes in either treatment or control group while two other studies found non-significant changes in readiness to change in both groups. Accordingly, there is potential for MI to be a successful intervention for ED patients’; however, more research is needed to develop a stronger evidence base.

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