Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

David M. Stein


David M. Stein


Eating disorder clients show low motivation, poor follow-through, and inordinate premature dropout rates in treatment. Earlier studies support the use of pretherapy training to help clients understand the tasks and challenges of therapy. However, a pretherapy intervention, such as showing prospective clients a video that outlines recovery issues and themes, had not yet been developed specifically for the prevalent, recalcitrant problem of eating disorders. Thus, of particular interest to clinicians who treat eating disorders may be the development of a theoretically sound, pretherapy videotape that outlines recovery issues.

One of the purposes of this study was to review prior investigations of the effects of pretherapy films/videos on therapy outcomes. However, the central focus of this dissertation was to develop a pretherapy video for use with eating disorder clients, and using quantitative methods, assess the quality and likely therapeutic utility of the pretherapy video. The video was developed to be theoretically consistent with Bandura' s modeling paradigm, social learning theory.

Eating disorder clients, a comparison group of college women, and professional clinicians who are experienced at treating women with eating disorders were asked to view and evaluate the video (developed to orient prospective clients to recovery issues during treatment for eating disorders). All three groups reportedly found the recovering women portrayed in the video credible, believable, and persuasive. All groups of observers indicated that the video presented an understandable and hopeful message possessing emotional impact, and they avowed that the video created expectations for improvement.

Also, the viewers believed the pretherapy video would likely increase knowledge of eating disorder recovery, and that future eating disorder clients viewing the video would likely learn new information that would facilitate their recovery. Additionally, the three groups indicated the video seemed to be of general relevance and therapeutic utility to women with eating disorders.



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