OBJECTIVE: To examine the multidimensional nature of motivation to change in an adolescent sample in residential eating disorder (ED) treatment and relate it to outcome. METHOD: To determine whether different dimensions of motivation (benefits, burdens, and functional avoidance) are differentially associated with symptom severity and outcome, we assessed eating pathology and motivation to change in consecutively admitted female patients (n = 67) with AN, BN, and EDNOS in a residential ED program with the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) and the Decisional Balance Scale (DB). RESULTS: Pretreatment DB benefits and functional avoidance subscales were correlated with ED and comorbid psychopathology. Admission to discharge change in DB benefits-but not other measured dimensions of motivation was significantly associated with post-treatment EDE-Q global scores. DISCUSSION: Our findings support that motivation to change is a multidimensional construct among ED patients. A reduction in perceived benefits of illness is associated with less severe post-treatment eating pathology.
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