Nursing Consideration for Patients With Eating Disorders and Its Associate Medical Complications Term Paper

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Nursing Consideration for Patients With Eating Disorders and Its Associate Medical Complications

One of the most widespread and substantial health dilemmas in The Western world, in general, and in America, in particular, is eating disorder. Nurses have come up with several strategies of treating eating disorder amongst both young and old members of the population. This paper assesses the affects of some treatment strategies on medical complications associated with eating disorders.

Eating disorders are not a new health concern as people, both young and old, have been suffering from this disease. For instance, Shisslak, Crago and Estes (1995) studied the spectrum of eating disorders and revealed that adolescents have a much greater risk of developing an eating disorder. While eating disorders are spread across a broad range, in the western societies two forms of eating disorder are prevalent: they are; anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). The existence of both these eating disorder posts a great challenge for the nursing profession as it has been observed that the problem has been escalating year after year (Shisslak, Crago, & Estes, 1995).

Similarly, Bunnell, Shenker, Nussbaum, Jacobson, and Cooper (1990) in their study of eating disorders compared and contrasted Sub-clinical and formal eating disorders. The results of their study revealed that 35% to 50% of the girls had been suffering from partial-eating disorders. Furthermore, the results of the study revealed that partial-eating disorders had been in higher proportion than complete-eating disorders. However, the results also reveal that as these adolescents grow and develop, it is highly likely that their partial-eating disorders will develop into a full fledge syndrome (Bunnell, Shenker, Nussbaum, Jacobson, & Cooper, 1990).

Bruch (1973) in her study in eating disorders argues that this disease is most prevalent amongst adolescents, particularly, during the era they are growing and developing their sense of independence, mastery and capability, which is crucial in acquiring adulthood and attaining freedom from parent control. Furthermore, Abraham and Llewellyn-Jones (2001) in their study reveal that over-perception of body mass amongst children is the underlying issue of eating disorder behavior, predominantly in the western world.

Similarly, Telch and Agras (1996) studied the influence of emotions on obese and revealed that people who binge eating have not been experiencing "anorexia nervosa," for the reason that their body mass index (BMI) is in excess of 17.5; nor have they been experiencing "bulimia nervosa," for the reason that they do not utilize unsafe techniques of weight control. The results of the study give the impression that binge eaters utilize food to control mood or complicated emotions, predominantly unhappiness, annoyance and feelings of insufficiency (Telch and Agras, 1996).

The above mentioned studies, along with numerous other studies, have revealed that eating disorders have become a major health concern for the nursing profession. It is imperative that appropriate skills and strategies are developed and practiced so that successful and productive results can be achieved. The nurses have shown a lot of commitment in this regard as they have come up with several kinds of treatment options. Furthermore, they have committed themselves to not only the guiding principals but also the enduring foundations of their profession in order to better serve and assist their clients. However, it is worth noting here that amongst all the treatment strategies being employed to cure eating disorder, it is natural for some strategies to yield greater amount of success and productivity. The aim of the literature review is to assess the most relatively successful strategies employed by nurses in order to cure eating disorder problems.

Review of literature

Eating Disorder Treatment through Education

Huon, Braganza, Brown, Ritchie and Roncoloto (1998) studied dieting induced eating disorders in great detail. The results of their research revealed that several programs are being operated through American healthcare system; however, very few empirical studies have accounted their success and productivity. Research studies have been carried out in diverse locations; however, schools and hospitals have been the most preferred locations by researchers. The results also reveal that risk factors for eating disorders should be included in the program being operated by nurses throughout America: risk factors that address health problems and associated risks. Similarly, many research studies have revealed that education and knowledge about risk factors about health can divert people's attitude towards their eating habits (Huon, Braganza, Brown, Ritchie, & Roncoloto, 1998).

On the other hand, many research studies have down played the role of education in behavioral change towards eating habits. They base their assumption on the fact that it is not necessary that transformed behavior may increase information or vice versa. As mentioned above, several programs have been initiated by researchers, which included education about the outcomes of unhealthy eating habits, in order to transform eating disorders. However, most of these programs did not yield positive results. For instance, Carter, Stewart, Dunn, and Fairburn (1997) studied eating disorder prevention and treatment programs. They added a cognitive-behavioral dimension to their education curricula so that could make an effort to alter the thinking structure of their clients in elation to food and their body image. Regrettably, at the same time, the program revealed efficiency at the end of the intercession, contrasted to baseline, dietary self-control in fact augmented above baseline scores after following-up 6-months later. In is worth noting here that Huon, Braganza, Brown, Ritchie and Roncoloto (1998) in their study had cautioned about education programs that may trigger motivation to carry out those acts, which the program had been set out to abolish. For instance, drug prevention educational programs have for long been considered to enhance the use of drugs rather than reduce it.

Eating disorder programs operated by nurses not only target dieting practices, but also aim for psychological factors such as client's body discontent and pessimistic body image. Winzelberg, Taylor, Sharpe, Eldredge, Dev, and Constantinou (1998) evaluated a computer-mediated eating disorder program. The results of the research reveal that women could utilize computers to augment body image, as well as, reduce body discontent. The researchers hypothesized that the results might have been more important if there had been more observation and devotion as subjects finished only 50% of the software program.

Furthermore, Springer, Winzelberg, Perkins, and Taylor (1999) studied effects of a body image curriculum for college students on improving body image. The results of their research had shown success of an educational program on body image on a university campus. The content covered the organic, chronological, as well as, developmental viewpoints of this paradigm; it did not center on personal transformation. Considerable pre-test, as well as, post-test results had been accounted: the program decreased attitudes, as well as, behavioral risk factors associated with eating disorder devoid of transforming BMI or self-respect. The researchers justified their results as the outcome of their decision to deliberately keep out any information on nourishment and weight content.

Eating Disorder Treatment through Hypnosis

Education and awareness about good and bad eating habits and their outcomes are necessary for Eating Disorder Treatment through Hypnosis. The patients are made aware of the big picture and made to think about long-term scenarios. They are also made aware of the productive results, if they restrict themselves to strict diet control. The purpose of educating patients of eating disorders is to make them aware about the consequences of their actions. Fiona Mantle (2003) provides an in-depth view of treating people suffering from eating disorders through hypnosis. He writes, "Treatment of the person with an eating disorder centers on encouraging an achievement and acceptance of a weight which lies in the normal range or a higher realistic weight if the person is obese. Patients need to relearn normal eating and gain insight into their eating behavior and why it is persisting. Nutrition education and dispelling myths about food and eating are necessary, as is appropriate lifestyle modification. A major aim is to get the patient to desist from potentially dangerous eating behaviors, part of which requires dealing with underlying problems (Fiona Mantle, 2003)."

Another objective of the treatment program through hypnosis is allowing the patients to control their eating behavior instead of curing their condition. This is because nurses and researchers, alike, believe that it is impossible and unfeasible to cure all eating disorder behaviors completely. As Fiona Mantle (2003) reveals, "The overall aim of treatment is not necessarily to cure the condition but to control it, since the eradication of all eating disordered behaviors is unrealistic and the goal of therapy is the maintenance of healthy, controlled eating patterns (Comma 1992) (Fiona Mantle, 2003)."

Initially, nurses tend to focus on the patient's abnormal eating habits and behaviors so that they may use various techniques to reinstate normal eating habits and behaviors. Sometimes, nurses may use behavioral techniques without using cognitive behavioral therapy, while, other times, nurses may use behavioral techniques single-handedly. The mode of technique used depends solely at the discretion of the nurse's perception of the patient. Fiona Mantle (2003) describes some common behavioral techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy used by nurses: "Techniques used in treating eating… [END OF PREVIEW]

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