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New research details the importance of social support for mothers of patients with eating disorders

A new report in the Journal of Eating Disorders highlights the significance of social support for mothers with children suffering from eating disorders.

“Although caregivers of patients with eating disorders usually experience a heavy caregiving burden, the effects of social support on caregivers of patients with eating disorders are unknown,” the study reads.

“This study aimed to investigate how social support for mothers who are caregivers of patients with an eating disorder improves the mothers’ mental status and, consequently, the symptoms and status of the patients.”

The study involved 57 pairs of participants recruited throughout 2017 and 2018. The caregivers were evaluated for social support using the SPS-10 and a series of other assessment instruments to measure mental health.

“We divided the mothers and patients into two groups based on the mean score of the SPS-10 of mothers and compared the status of mothers and patients between the high- and low-scoring groups,” the study also states.

According to researchers, the higher the social support for the caregivers of patients with an eating disorder, the lower the exhibition of depressive or anxiety traits.

“For patients with eating disorders, social support for a caregiver cannot be expected to improve their symptoms, but it may help prevent caregiver depression and loneliness,” the study concluded.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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