Why assessments and outcomes are critical for patients with eating disorders

Posted on 01/31/20 02:52:pm Why assessments and outcomes are critical for patients with eating disorders


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It can be difficult to decide where to seek treatment for an eating disorder. Two key points to look for are the use of clinical assessment tools and outcomes.

Nicholas Farrell, PhD, Oconomowoc campus clinical director and clinical supervisor of Eating Disorder Recovery, says Rogers’ focus on assessments and outcomes data is the thing that sets Rogers apart as a leader in the treatment of eating disorders.

During the admission process, patients complete an assessment to measure the severity of their eating disorder and to identify areas that the clinical team should focus on. For instance, a person may experience high anxiety when eating in public or with specific foods but not have a problem with exercise. Dr. Farrell says information like this allows the team to “carefully create a treatment plan that is uniquely designed to address the specific concerns that a person has.”

He adds “one of the things we hear from a lot of patients is they’re thrilled by how we focus on them as a unique individual as opposed to throwing the whole ‘kitchen sink’ of treatment strategies at them.”

Rogers uses this approach across the board in all programs. Likewise, gathering outcomes data through assessment measures is key to our mission of providing high-quality treatment for those experiencing mental health struggles.

The assessment measures Rogers utilizes have been trusted for decades and are shown to be reliable indicators of the difficulties someone is experiencing. Rogers also uses a mix of self-reported and clinician-administered assessments for a more complete look at how treatment is progressing.

Patients complete new assessments every 1-2 weeks during treatment. This allows the team to measure their progress and alerts them to any needed adjustments.

“If we see that a person isn’t getting better, that is an important indication that we need to revisit the treatment plan,” Dr. Farrell says. “We’ll speak with the individual and figure out what we might need to refine to make treatment more effective.”

Another assessment is completed at discharge and is compared to the admission assessment to get an overall picture of how effective treatment was.

A final assessment is sent to patients a year after discharge to look at of the long-term impact of treatment.

“We want to ensure the changes we’re helping people make are lasting, and that the benefit doesn’t just occur during the time the person is in our care at Rogers.”

Rogers has been gathering data and measuring the effectiveness of care for more than 20 years, which is rare in behavioral health. Dr. Farrell says that having outcomes measurements also allows us to contribute to scientific literature and expand awareness of how individuals can best be served by mental health treatment. This kind of data analysis leads to industry-wide understanding of best practices and development of evidence-based treatments.

Rogers’ proven outcomes for Eating Disorder Recovery are available for the public online. We offer treatment for children, adolescents, and adults with inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient care. Learn more our eating disorder treatments, or take our short quiz. If you think you or someone you know may want help, call 800-767-4411 or submit a free online screening.

Call 800-767-4411 or go to rogersbh.org to request a free screening.