An evaluation of a manualised group self-esteem programme for Anorexia Nervosa patients regaining weight
Low self-esteem has been identified as a strong predictor of onset, maintenance and relapse in eating disorders. This suggests that treatment directly addressing low self-esteem might improve recovery. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based group for low self-esteem is a six session manualised programme based on Melanie Fennel’s model for low self-esteem. It was developed at Newbridge House, a child and adolescent eating disorder inpatient unit in the UK. Although the use of CBT for low self-esteem is established in adult services, the Newbridge programme, adapting the same principles for children and adolescents, is to our knowledge, the first of its kind. This paper reports a service evaluation (N=63) which examines the efficacy of this group in improving low self-esteem for 12-17 year olds with a primary diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa (AN). Paired-samples t-tests compared the differences in pre- to post-group and post-group to follow-up. Results indicate significant improvements in self-esteem as shown by improvements on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale, which are maintained at follow-up. This highlights that group manualised CBT for low self-esteem is effective for young people with AN and indicates the need for future controlled studies.