Measuring MFT's Mental Health Literacy and Competence: The Effects of an On-Line Introductory Workshop on Eating Disorders
Danielle Beck-Ellsworth, Alliant International University, San Diego, United States
Alliant International University, San Diego . Awarded
Purpose of study. The purpose of the validity study was to establish known-groups validity of the two measures used for the main study by comparing the responses of the Eating Disorder experts and non-experts. The purpose of the main study was to develop an on-line introductory workshop on eating disorders and investigate the levels of competency and mental health literacy (MHL) of licensed MFTs and registered MFT interns before and after viewing the workshop. Results from the competence and MHL measures determined the effectiveness and appropriateness of the workshop for use in training and education.
Hypotheses. Validity study hypotheses: H1: Eating disorder experts score differently on the mental health literacy toward eating disorder measures from non-experts. H2: Eating disorder experts have a higher level of clinical competence in eating disorders than non-experts.
Main study hypotheses. H1: One month after taking the online introductory eating disorder course, non-expert participants will have a higher level (i.e., closer to experts' responses) of mental health literacy toward eating disorders than at a pre-workshop time. H2: One month after taking the online introductory eating disorder course, non-expert participants will have a higher competence in eating disorders than at a pre-workshop time.
Method. A causal comparative design was chosen for the validity study. Experts and non-experts' results were compared based on their responses to the mental health literacy (BN-MHL and Mond subscales) and competence (Eating Disorder Competence Index) measures. The main study used an experimental one-group pretest-posttest design. The BN-MHL and Mond subscales and Eating Disorder Competence Index were utilized to statistically analyze the difference between pre and post-test results.
Results. Fifty-two experts and 45 non-experts completed the validity study. Overall, experts and non-experts had different eating disorder MHL with experts having more positive MHL. The expert group also had significantly higher competence than the non-experts. The main study had 44 non-experts complete the pre and post-tests. There were limited significant findings, however, results showed slight changes in the mean for the majority of the MHL and competence variables. These findings indicated an increase in MHL and competency after viewing the workshop.
Beck-Ellsworth, D. Measuring MFT's Mental Health Literacy and Competence: The Effects of an On-Line Introductory Workshop on Eating Disorders. Ph.D. thesis, Alliant International University, San Diego.
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