Questions family, partners, or close friends supporting the patient may want to ask treatment providers privately

When exploring treatment options for a patient, the patient’s loved ones may have questions of the care team that they prefer not to ask in the presence of the patient. Likewise, patients may have questions to ask alone without loved ones present, and we provide a separate list of those questions for patients. Also, depending on the patient’s age and legal relationship to you, you may need their written permission to discuss the situation with the patient’s care providers. For more information, see the section on Confidentiality Issues

This list provides ideas of questions loved ones may want to ask.

    • How can I/we best support the patient during treatment?
    • What is my/our role?
    • Can the patient be admitted against her/his will? If so, under what circumstances?
    • How often can I/we discuss progress with you?
    • What should be done if the patient does not want to participate in treatment?
    • How should I/we prepare for the patient’s return home?
    • What books, websites, or other resources do you recommend?
    • How can I/we tell if a relapse is occurring? What action should be taken?
    • If my family member/partner gets outpatient treatment, how will you decide if more intensive treatment is needed?
    • How can I/we tell if the healthcare professionals are working as a team?
    • If I/we have concerns about how it’s going, who should we call?
    • What limits should be placed on exercise? What distinguishes compulsive from healthy exercise?
    • Are there any special first-aid items such as Gatorade or Pedialyte that I/we should keep on hand to help with bulimia-related emergencies?
    • How can I/we encourage “safe” food choices?
    • What kind of food-related supervision should I/we provide?
    • What if my family member/partner shuts me out of talking about things?
    • Will my family member/partner be in group treatment with people of similar age/gender?
    • If my family member/partner is fascinated by cooking, nutrition, or fitness, should those interests be encouraged?
    • Is it wise for a recovering patient to have a job related to food or exercise?
    • How should I/we involve my family member/partner in meal planning, preparation, and food shopping?
    • My family member/partner doesn’t want anyone to know about the illness. I do because it would help me and my family member/partner to share about the illness with selected, carefully chosen, discrete people in our lives. They could be supportive, but I’m afraid that my family member/partner might see them as spies. What should I do?