Mental health first aid for eating disorders: pilot evaluation of a training program for the public Full Text
BMC Psychiatry, 08/03/2012
Hart LM et al. – This research provides preliminary evidence for the use of training in mental health first aid as a suitable intervention for increasing community knowledge of and support for people with eating disorders to seek appropriate help.Methods
- A repeated measures, uncontrolled trial was conducted to establish proof of concept and provide guidance on the future design of a randomised controlled trial.
- Self–report questionnaires, administered at baseline, post–training and 6–month follow–up, assessed the effectiveness of the 4–hour, single session, mental health first aid training.
- 73 participants completed the training and all questionnaires.
- The training intervention was associated with statistically significant increases in problem recognition and knowledge of appropriate mental health first aid strategies, which were maintained at 6–month follow–up.
- Sustained significant changes in attitudes and behaviours were less clear.
- 20 participants reported providing assistance to someone with a suspected eating disorder, seven of whom sought professional help as a result of the first aid interaction.
- Results provided no evidence of a negative impact on participants or the individuals they provided assistance to.