The Objective and Subjective Caregiving Burden and Caregiving Behaviours of Parents of Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa

Gianluca Lo Coco, Laura Salerno, Nadia Micali, Pamela Macdonald, Elizabeth Goddard, Rebecca Hibbs, Charlotte Rhind, Simon Gowers, Janet Treasure, Gillian Todd, Ulrike Schmidt, Kate Tchanturia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The study aimed to examine caregiving burden and levels of distress, accommodating behaviours, expressed emotion (EE) and carers' skills, in parents of adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Method: A semi-structured interview assessed the objective burden (time spent across caregiving tasks) in parents (n = 196) of adolescents (n = 144) receiving outpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa. Subjective burden (carers' distress), accommodating behaviours, EE and carers' skills were measured by self-report. Results: Mothers, on average, spent 2.5 h/day of care, mainly providing food and emotional support, compared with 1 h/day by fathers. The level of distress and accommodating behaviour was significantly lower in fathers than in mothers. Accommodating behaviours mediated the relationship between objective burden and subjective burden in mothers, whereas EE and carers' skills did not mediate this relationship for either parent. Discussion: The objective burden for most mothers is high. In order to reduce subjective burden, it may be helpful to target accommodating behaviours. Trial Registration: ISRCTN83003225 - Expert Carers Helping Others (ECHO). Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-319
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Volume24
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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