Suggestions in your practice

Eating disorders suggestions for General Practice

Suggestions in your practice image

After completing this learning tool you may feel that you wish to incorporate some of the learning points in your own practice.

It is clear that anorexia nervosa is the most serious eating disorder however the numbers dealt with in general practice will be low.

The overall incidence of eating disorders in the young female population that presents to general practice is approximately 5%.

By raising awareness and being equipped to deal with these patients when they present access to appropriate treatment will be easier for your patients.

Suggestions for identifying patients

  • screen high risk individuals using the SCOFF tool
  • do a simple search of your computer system looking for patients with recorded BMI less than 17.5
  • ask frequent attendees if they have issues with food
  • consider an eating disorder in patients presenting with mood disorder
  • make all staff aware of the risk of eating disorder and the signs to look for

Suggestions for improving practice

  • find out what services are available to patients with eating disorders in your locality
  • become familiar with guided self-help cognitive behavioural therapy
  • be receptive to concerns from parents, friends or school teachers
  • remember that adolescents and adults have different treatment needs
  • become familiar with and make a list of appropriate resources that your patient or carer can refer to

Suggestions for improving service

  • if specialist eating disorder services are not available for both adolescents and adults then you may wish to lobby your primary care organisation
  • find out if there are practitioners using CBT-BN in your locality and if not why not?

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