Health service utilization for eating disorders: Findings from a community-based study

Jonathan M. Mond*, Phillipa J. Hay, Bryan Rodgers, Cathy Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    130 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: Prior use of health services was examined in a community sample of women with bulimic-type eating disorders. Method: Participants (n = 159) completed a structured interview for the assessment of eating disorder psychopathology as well as questions concerning treatment-seeking and type of treatment received. Results: Whereas a minority (40.3%) of participants had received treatment for an eating problem, most had received treatment for a general mental health problem (74.2%) and/or weight loss (72.8%), and all had used one or more self-help treatments. Where treatment was received for an eating or general mental health problem, this was from a primary care practitioner in the vast majority of cases. Only half of those participants who reported marked impairment associated with an eating problem had ever received treatment for such a problem and less than one in five had received such treatment from a mental health professional. Conclusion: Women with bulimic-type eating disorders rarely receive treatment for an eating problem, but frequently receive treatment for a general mental health problem and/or for weight loss. The findings underscore the importance of programs designed to improve the detection and management of eating disorders in primary care.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)399-408
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
    Volume40
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

    Keywords

    • Binge eating disorder
    • Bulimia nervosa
    • Eating disorders
    • Health services
    • Mental health literacy

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