Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 2, 5
eCollection

Mapping the Evidence for the Prevention and Treatment of Eating Disorders in Young People

Affiliations
Review

Mapping the Evidence for the Prevention and Treatment of Eating Disorders in Young People

Alan P Bailey et al. J Eat Disord.

Abstract

Abstract: Eating disorders often develop during adolescence and young adulthood, and are associated with significant psychological and physical burden. Identifying evidence-based interventions is critical and there is need to take stock of the extant literature, to inform clinical practice regarding well-researched interventions and to direct future research agendas by identifying gaps in the evidence base.

Aim: To investigate and quantify the nature and distribution of existing high-quality research on the prevention and treatment of eating disorders in young people using evidence mapping methodology.

Method: A systematic search for prevention and treatment intervention studies in adolescents and young adults (12-25 years) was conducted using EMBASE, PSYCINFO and MEDLINE. Studies were screened and mapped according to disorder, intervention modality, stage of eating disorder and study design. Included studies were restricted to controlled trials and systematic reviews published since 1980.

Results: The eating disorders evidence map included 197 trials and 22 systematic reviews. Prevention research was dominated by trials of psychoeducation (PE). Bulimia nervosa (BN) received the most attention in the treatment literature, with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and antidepressants the most common interventions. For anorexia nervosa (AN), family based therapy (FBT) was the most studied. Lacking were trials exploring treatments for binge eating disorder (BED) and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). Relapse prevention strategies were notably absent across the eating disorders.

Conclusions: Despite substantial literature devoted to the prevention and treatment of eating disorders in young people, the evidence base is not well established and significant gaps remain. For those identified as being at-risk, there is need for prevention research exploring strategies other than passive PE. Treatment interventions targeting BED and EDNOS are required, as are systematic reviews synthesising BN treatment trials (e.g., CBT, antidepressants). FBTs for AN require investigation against other validated psychological interventions, and the development of relapse prevention strategies is urgently required. By systematically identifying existing interventions for young people with eating disorders and exposing gaps in the current literature, the evidence map can inform researchers, funding bodies and policy makers as to the opportunities for future research.

Keywords: Adolescent; Eating disorders; Evidence mapping; Prevention; Treatment; Young adult.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Flow chart of included studies.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 11 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG, Kessler RC. The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the national comorbidity survey replication. Biol Psychiatry. 2007;61(3):348–358. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.03.040. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Oakley-Browne MA, Wells JE, Scott KM, McGee MA. Lifetime prevalence and projected lifetime risk of DSM-IV disorders in Te Rau Hinengaro: the New Zealand mental health survey. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2006;40(10):865–874. doi: 10.1080/j.1440-1614.2006.01905.x. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Mathews R, Hall WD, Vos T, Patton GC, Degenhardt L. What are the major drivers of prevalent disability burden in young Australians. Med J Aust. 2011;194(5):232–235. - PubMed
    1. Mond J, Rodgers B, Hay P, Korten A, Owen C, Beumont P. Disability associated with community cases of commonly occurring eating disorders. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2004;28(3):246–251. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-842X.2004.tb00703.x. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Madden S, Morris A, Zurynski YA, Kohn M, Elliot EJ. Burden of eating disorders in 5-13-year-old children in Australia. Med J Aust. 2009;190(8):410–414. - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback