What are blind weights?
“Blind weight” refers to a process for weighing patients that ensures clients never see the number on the scale. Alternatively, “open weight” refers to clients’ knowledge of their weight, which many eating disorder treatment protocols currently use.
There are a variety of ways clinicians can collect blind weight. The clinicians can; not give any clues about the client’s weight, only tell the client the direction of the change (increase or decrease in weight), and let the client know whether or not they are on track to hit their goal(s). It’s essential for clinicians to have discussions with new eating disorder patients regarding how “blind” they want their weight to be. It’s also important to keep in mind that your means of collecting blind weights must be a HIPAA compliant matter.
How are blind weights beneficial for eating disorder treatment?
The main benefit of taking blind weight is anxiety relief. Many clients find that decreasing the stress associated with open weighing helps to minimize their eating disorder symptoms. Here’s what a mother to a child in recovery has to say about MyClearStep’s blind weigh-ins:
“… the most amazing thing about this process, is that my daughter is no longer scared of the scale and is no longer in fear from her nutritionist appointments. She asks me, and even reminds me every 2-3 days to weigh her because she wants to hold herself accountable.”
In simple terms, blind weigh-ins are beneficial for all parties involved in the recovery process. Parents and patients are able to feel more comfortable with weight uncertainty. Shifting the focus from the number on the scale to overall well-being can help clients form better habits for the future.
“… This tool has given us more control over the ED recovery. It’s empowering me, as her primary caregiver, to manage her health, removing the costly reliance on other people simply telling me her weight, and more importantly – removing the anxiety surrounding the scale – for me, as a parent and my daughter, as the patient.”
Tips & best practices for collecting blind weights
Some procedures for collecting blind weight can be concerning for patients. This concern may come from relying on a second party to accurately capture their measurements, and, deliberately or not, take a glance at their weight.
MyClearStep has taken advantage of numberless Bluetooth scales to capture the client’s weight and store it in a secure online portal that only their healthcare provider can access. Hear about the changes a mother is able to make with her child by collecting her weight blindly:
“I am able to keep track of my daughter’s health regularly and am able with very little to no stress, better manage her meal planning. If she drops, I add some higher calorie foods for a few days, and if she gained or maintained her weight, we stick to her regular plan that was designed by her nutritionist.”
Substituting the traditional methods of blind weighing where it’s difficult for patients to take their own weight, virtual numberless scales offer remote eating disorder treatment. At home, the patient only needs to open the ClearStep app, step on the scale, and receive confirmation their measurement has been captured. This allows clinicians to provide effective telehealth care to eating disorder clients without causing any unnecessary stress.
All in all, Collecting blind weight is associated with decreased anxiety, improved treatment adherence, and better motivation for recovery – for both a parent and patient.
Read more about it on our Parent, Clinician and Patient pages.