Treatment readiness and motivation research: improving quality of care and health outcomes

Treatment refusal, dropout, and relapse are common in individuals with eating disorders, resulting in physical and emotional costs to the patient, societal costs to the community, and economic costs to the health care system. Dr. Josie Geller’s previous research has shown that a patient’s readiness to change is the best predictor of clinical outcomes in the eating disorders. However, there remains a need for validated assessment tools and guidelines to determine which patients are ready for what type of treatment; development and evaluation of interventions that enhance readiness for treatment; and dissemination of findings from this research to clinicians and to community support providers on the benefits of matching treatment to patient readiness. The primary objective of Dr. Geller’s research is to use a patient-focused approach that draws upon applications of psychological models of readiness and motivation for change to improve health service delivery, utilization, and quality of care. Her program aims to provide a set of guiding principles for efficient, cost-effective care that has broad applications to the health care system, including eating disorders, HIV, Hepatitis C, and other emerging priority areas.