An Interactive Online Learning Program in the Eating
Disorders for General Mental Health Professionals
1 Maguire, S.L.,	
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Eating disorders online learning Course: development and evaluation of an online course for health professionals. Adrienne O'Dell, Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders

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Eating disorders online learning Course: development and evaluation of an online course for health professionals. Adrienne O'Dell, Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders

  1. 1. An Interactive Online Learning Program in the Eating Disorders for General Mental Health Professionals 1 Maguire, S.L.,   1,2 Russel, J. 1,3 & Touyz, S.1 O’Dell, A., 1. Centre for Eating & Dieting Disorders, University of Sydney 2. NSW Health Department; Mental Health & Drug & Alcohol Office   The Problem Development and Implementation Despite the development of evidenced based treatments & increasing funds emerging through initiatives such as Medicare 2006 Better Access to Mental Health(1), many of those suffering from Eating Disorders in Australia continue to struggle to access treatment due to shortfalls in appropriately trained mental health professionals. Stage 2: Development of a 5 module curriculum (3.5 hours each) i. Understanding Eating Disorders : background, epidemiology, diagnostic issues, prevention, screening & early intervention, stigma & stereotypes ii.  Assessment: history taking & diagnostics, medical assessment, mental health assessment & nutritional assessment. iii. Treatment approaches : self-help, motivational interviewing, CBT, Family Therapy & other therapies including DBT, IPT, psychodynamic therapy, pharmacology & other therapies. iv. Preparation for Treatment : treatment aims & principals including planning & goal setting; a team approach; selecting options for care; professional, legal & ethical issues including transference issues, supervision etc. v. Management : working with children & adolescents, inpatient treatment, daypatient & outpatient treatment. Those living in rural or remote areas are significantly disadvantaged by the lack of appropriately trained mental health professionals in the field of eating disorders. Patients with eating disorders make up a considerable portion of the health services load within Australia, with approximately 21 000 ambulatory contacts occurring across NSW alone between January 2010 & March 2011. Given the complexity of their presentation no one sector of the health service is the principal provider for the eating disorders with most subspecialties being affected. Given the significance of the impact that the eating disorders make across the health services, training of both generalist & mental health staff is essential if evidenced based treatment is to be delivered to this patient population & if staff are to be supported in managing them. New technology has the potential to ease this problem. The Approach The Centre for Eating & Dieting Disorders at the University of Sydney, funded by the NSW Health Department, is responsible for workforce training & development for eating disorders in the state. CEDD have developed an interactive online learning program for mental health professionals in the area of Eating Disorders. Why online learning? • Training at a flexible location & time and reduced travel costs • Access to training for rural & remote mental health professionals across NSW •Training opportunities for individuals with varying levels of knowledge & differing interests •Progression at an individual’s own pace •Varied activities to suit different learning styles • Easy access to training by national & international experts Stage 1: Steering committee Australian and NZ experts in eating disorders from the fields of medicine, dietetics & nursing provided guidance on the development of general & specialist curriculum areas of relevance to practitioners. Converted to an e-learning format including videos, interactive activities, pre-and post quizzes, pdf resources, key readings & text. CPD endorsement with all applicable professional bodies in Australia. Demonstrations and Consumer Perspectives Interactive Activities Role Plays Stage 3: Development of topic area format i. Core -Theoretical & contextual underpinnings ii. In Practice -Practical aspects, more in-depth content iii. Resources -References, checklists, questionnaires, etc Stage 4: Pre and post questionnaires Program participants are required to complete a pre training questionnaire prior to beginning the learning program and a post training evaluation after completion. Participants were asked: -  10 questions rating their perceived current level of knowledge (e.g. the risk factors associated with the development of an eating disorder) regarding the treatment and management of eating disorders on a 5-point Likert scale (1.Very low, 2.Low, 3.Moderate, 4.High, 5.Very High). -  9 questions rating their skill level (e.g. conducting an eating disorder screening) regarding the treatment and management of eating disorders on a 5-point Likert scale (1.Very low, 2.Low, 3.Moderate, 4.High, 5.Very High). -  6 questions about their personal attitudes towards individuals with an eating disorder (e.g. They are to blame for their condition) on a 5-point Likert scale (1.Strongly Disagree, 3.Neutral, 5.Strongly Agree). -  Willingness and confidence in treating each of the eating disorder subtypes was rated on a 5-point Likert scale from 1 (Not at all willing/ Not at all confident) to 5 (Willing/ Confident). •  The Results   60/40 split metropolitan versus rural/regional employment setting •  91.4% Females, mean age 31-40 years, 50% have been in practice <5 years •  46% respondents indicated they don’t have the skills to treat eating disorder patients and 34% indicated that there is not enough resources available to help them adequately treat these patients *Upon completion of the online training program, health professionals reported - a statistically significant increase in knowledge (z=-11.58, p<0.001) and skill level (z=-11.42, p<0.001). -  a statistically significant decrease in personal bias towards eating disorders (z=-5.76, p<0.001). * Confidence to treat each of the eating disorder subtypes increased significantly from pre to post training evaluations (see below) ED subtype AN 2.70(1.04) 3.69(0.83) -9.85** BED Expert Opinions -9.12** BN Quizzes Pre Mean (SD) Post Mean (SD) 2.60(1.11) 3.46(0.97) Z score 2.64(1.05) 3.65(0.81) -9.85** EDNOS 2.67(1.10) 3.67(0.82) -9.55** ** Wilcoxon signed rank test highly statistically significant (p-value <0.001) Online training program evaluations 96.2% indicated that their current clinical practice 98.4% indicated that their expectations of the online learning program were met. 99.5% indicated the program was relevant or highly relevant to their practice. 98.9% of respondents indicated that the program met their needs. For additional information please contact: Adrienne O’Dell Centre for Eating and Dieting Disorders, University of Sydney adrienne.odell@sydney.edu.au RESEARCH POSTER PRESENTATION DESIGN © 2012 www.PosterPresentations.com

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