An evaluation of the predictive validity of the URICA and ANSOCQ scales for weight gain in adults with AN in an outpatient eating disorders program: A prospective cohort study

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Abstract

Background: The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) which focuses on stage of change has been the main conceptual model used in understanding the lack of motivation to change in patients with Anorexia Nervosa (AN). Whilst there is evidence to support the prognostic value of the TTM in AN, this evidence base sufferers from limitations including limited studies in adults and none in outpatient populations. The primary aim of this study was to clarify whether readiness to change, as measured by the University Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale (URICA) and the Anorexia Nervosa Stages of Change Questionnaire (ANSOCQ) could predict weight gain in adults with AN following treatment in an outpatient setting. Methods: This was a prospective cohort analysis, which selectively used data from an existing clinical database at an outpatient eating disorders service. 119 patients met eligibility criteria and were included in this study. This included all adult patients who had a diagnosis of AN and were assessed, but not necessarily treated at the outpatient eating disorders program (Group 1). A subgroup of 63 patients (Group 2) was also analysed which only included patients who had received treatment at the program. Baseline measures included the URICA score, the ANSOCQ score, the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) and body mass index (BMI). BMI was also measured on discharge. Results: The URICA scale had poor predictive validity for weight gain (r = 0.05, p = 0.725). The ANSOCQ had moderate predictive validity (Pearson's r = 0.57, p = 0.007), and accounted for 32.7% of variance in weight gain. The URICA and ANSOCQ were moderately correlated in both groups. The URICA was moderately predictive of symptom severity, measured by the EDE-Q in both groups. The ANSOCQ was moderately correlated with the EDE-Q scores in both Groups 1 and 2. Conclusions: To the authors' knowledge this is the only study evaluating stage of change, in an adult outpatient population with AN. The findings of this study suggest that while both the URICA and ANSOCQ were associated with eating disorder symptom severity, only the ANSOCQ was able to predict weight gain in outpatients with AN suggesting its greater utility in this context.

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Green, J., Philipou, A., Castle, D., Cistullo, L., & Newton, R. (2017). An evaluation of the predictive validity of the URICA and ANSOCQ scales for weight gain in adults with AN in an outpatient eating disorders program: A prospective cohort study. Journal of Eating Disorders, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40337-017-0180-0

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