Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Objective: This study was designed to investigate the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) in individuals being treated for eating disorder at the residential level of care. The objective of this study was to inform collectively the multiple paradigms that have power in the treatment decisions for individual's seeking clinical care for an eating disorder, i.e. clinicians, payers, policy-makers, friends and family, and the afflicted person. Residential treatment is often overlooked or dismissed as a primary level of care, due to a lack of insurance and other third-party payment. The intension of this research study is to build support for a 360-degree assessment including physical, behavioral, mental, emotional, and existential transformation with this population.

Method: Data collection began in August 2011 and concluded August 2012. There were three unique test-times, (1) admission, (2) discharge, and (3) three-month post-discharge follow-up. The researcher analyzed the change in HRQOL between these three test times as well as correlational relationships between the change in HRQOL and change in depressive and eating disorder symptomatology, utilizing the Beck Depression Inventory, second edition and the Eating Disorder Inventory, third edition. Finally, the research investigated the relationship between duration of illness and HRQOL.

Results: Preliminary data support the researcher's hypotheses that residential treatment is an effective model for treating individuals with severe eating disorders as evidenced by HRQOL at discharge and three month follow-up. Furthermore, there were negative correlational relationships between the change in HRQOL and change in symptoms from admission to discharge, ultimately supporting the researcher's hypothesis that during the course of residential treatment subjects' HRQOL improves and symptoms decrease. Contrary to the researcher's hypothesis, duration of illness did not have any relationship with the subjects' change in quality of life from admission to discharge.

Discussion: This research study reaped important results specific to health-related quality of life and residential treatment for individuals afflicted with severe eating disorders. A 360-degree approach is warranted in assessment and evaluation of treatment and discharge readiness. This study, though preliminary, provides significant data that can be used to inform multidisciplinary clinicians, policy-makers, third-party payers, and friends and family seeking counsel.

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