Coaches' knowledge and management of eating disorders: a randomized controlled trial

  • Martinsen M
  • Sherman R
  • Thompson R
 et al. 
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METHODSAll Norwegian Elite Sport High Schools were included (intervention group (n = 9) and control group (n = 7)). Seventy-six coaches employed at and coaching first year student athletes at the different schools were followed for three school years (2008-2011). At pretest and posttest (9 months after intervention), they completed a questionnaire regarding nutrition, weight regulation, and ED.RESULTSIntervention coaches had higher knowledge index scores than control coaches for weight regulation (6.2 ± 1.7 vs. 4.8 ± 1.3, P < 0.001), ED (including recognition and management) (19.3 ± 4.4 vs. 16.5 ± 5.0, P = 0.004), and total knowledge (weight regulation, ED, and nutrition) (35.0 ± 7.2 vs. 31.6 ± 8.0, P = 0.021) at posttest. Moreover, the coaches likelihood of describing knowledge of ED as "somewhat good" or better was seven times higher for intervention than control coaches at posttest (OR = 7.1, 95% CI, 2.2-23.2, P = 0.001).CONCLUSIONIntervention coaches had higher index scores on total knowledge, weight regulation, and ED (including recognition and management) than control coaches. The intervention also was successful in producing effects on the coaches' subjective evaluation of their ED knowledge.PURPOSEIt has been suggested that programs regarding early identification and prevention of eating disorders (ED) among athletes are unlikely to succeed without their coaches' endorsement and participation. Therefore, we developed a 1-yr intervention aiming to prevent the development of ED among adolescent elite athletes by targeting athletes and their coaches. The separate part of the intervention targeting the coaches was designed to provide knowledge and strategies regarding healthy nutrition, eating behavior, and ED (symptoms, identification, management, and prevention). In this trial, we examined the effect of the educational program on the coaches' knowledge and management index in three content areas (nutrition, weight regulation, and ED). We also examined their subjective evaluation of their ED knowledge.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult[checkword]
  • Body Weight
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders [diagnosis] [preventi
  • Female[checkword]
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans[checkword]
  • Male[checkword]
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Sports
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • adolescent
  • adult
  • attitude to health
  • body weight
  • controlled study
  • feeding- and eating disorders/di [Diagnosis]
  • feeding- and eating disorders/pc [Prevention]
  • female
  • health education
  • human
  • male
  • nutrition
  • questionnaire
  • randomized controlled trial
  • sport

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  • M Martinsen

  • Rt Sherman

  • Ra Thompson

  • J Sundgot-Borgen

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