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Improving Collaborative Care in Managing Eating Disorders: A Pilot Study

Heath, Olga PhD1; English, Denise MN2; Simms, Joanne MN, NP3; Ward, Pamela PhD2; Hollett, Ann MA1; Dominic, Anna MD1

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions: Autumn 2013 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 235–243
doi: 10.1002/chp.21187

Introduction: The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the impact of a continuing interprofessional educational workshop focused on eating disorders in a rural area in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Canada. The pilot study helped determine if the eating disorder workshop was feasible for implementation to a broader audience. A conceptual model developed by our eating disorder team and described in the article guided this innovative program.

Methods: The intensive 2-day workshop was piloted in one community with 41 health and education professionals in attendance. A key element was the focus on creating and sustaining collaborative care for eating disorders. Participants completed pre-post workshop measures of interprofessional attitudes and skills, self-reported knowledge, confidence, and intention to change practice (post questionnaire only). A 6-month follow-up survey measured self-reported practice change.

Results: There were significant positive changes in interprofessional attitudes and skills as well as knowledge and confidence in collaborative management of eating disorders. Post-workshop, 69% (n = 24/35) of participants indicated intention to change practice, and on follow-up, 7 of 10 respondents reported implementing changes in practice as a result of the workshop. Low response rate at follow-up was a limitation.

Discussion: Results support the impact of the workshop in improving knowledge, confidence, and attitudes toward collaboration and changing practice and the value of implementing the program province-wide.

1Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, Canada; 2Centre for Nursing Studies, Eastern Health, St. John's, NL, Canada; 3Eastern Health, St. John's, NL, Canada.

Disclosures: The authors report none.

Correspondence: Olga Heath, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, A1C 5S7, Canada; e-mail:

Published online in Wiley Online Library (

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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