The family plays a significant role in the development and maintenance of eating disorders, and may be equally influential in recovery. The deliberate use of an instrument that addresses the perceived family environment is useful in engaging the family in treatment and enhancing treatment outcomes. The Family Experience with Eating Disorders Scale (FEEDS) was used in this study because it addresses the psychometric deficits common in existing general family assessment instruments and captures family dynamics specific to eating disorders. The 53-item FEEDS was design to illicit the parental perception of the family environment and assesses family dynamics specific to eating disorders, including relational dynamics, interaction skills, and modeling of weight, shape, and eating. A client version of the FEEDS was developed for this study to test the degree of congruence in parent-child perceptions of family dynamics. Moreover, a scoring rubric was created for clinical use based on previous normed data comparing parental responses between families whose child has either an eating disorder, a non-eating disorder psychiatric disorder, or no mental health condition. This paper examines additional psychometric properties of the FEEDS and evaluates its appropriateness for use in clinical practice. Emphasis was placed on the unique challenges of expanding the use of an instrument used only for research purposes to utilize in the clinical setting. A sample of 10 matched dyads revealed adequate levels of reliability; construct validity with known groups was not supported in this sample. Client and parent satisfaction with the FEEDS in the clinical setting was confirmed. The outcome of this study has clinical and research implications; the consistent use of the FEEDS (Parent and Child Versions) will guide the direction of therapy when familial factors are identified at the beginning of treatment and incorporated into the plan of care.
Hoff, Kathleen M., "Family Experience with Eating Disorders Scale: Exploring Reliability and Validity and Evaluating the Clinical Utility of its Use in Treatment" (2008). Honors Projects. 14.