Enhancing motivation to change in eating disorders with an online self-help program

Sau Fong Leung, Joyce Ma, Janice Russell

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Ambivalence to change is a major obstacle to treating people with eating disorders. Enhancing motivation to change can contribute to recovery from the disorders. This study used an Internet-based self-help program developed in the Asia-Pacific region to identify the motivational stages of change in people with eating disorders. It explored their perceptions of the benefits and costs of taking action against their eating disorders, and assessed their involvement in motivational enhancement exercises and their improvement in eating disorder psychopathology. A total of 185 participants, aged 16-50years (mean age, 26.5) were involved in the open-trial program with a motivational enhancement component and completed the Motivational Stages of Change Questionnaire (MSCARED), the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire version 5 (EDE-Q5) and the Eating Disorder Inventory version 3 (EDI-3). The results show that more participants perceived the benefits of taking action against their eating disorders than the costs. Completer analysis shows that they experienced significant improvement in motivational stages of change and eating disorder psychopathology, from a baseline assessment to 1-month and 3-month follow ups. The self-help program has potential benefit for people with eating disorders and its use could be encouraged by health-care professionals to enhance the motivation to change and facilitate recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-339
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • Eating disorders
  • Internet-based self-help program
  • Motivation enhancement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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