'Help us, she's fading away': How to manage the patient with anorexia nervosa

Aust Fam Physician. 2014 Aug;43(8):531-6.


Background: Although integral to the early detection and treatment of anorexia nervosa, there is a paucity of clear guidance available for general practitioners (GPs). This paper attempts to bridge the gap between the specialist and generalist literature to assist the busy GP feel confident in identifying and managing these patients.

Objective: On reading this article it is anticipated the GP will feel well equipped to screen for and provide ongoing treatment to patients who pre-sent with eating disorders, particularly anorexia nervosa. This paper provides guidance for the identification and ongoing management of patients with anorexia nervosa, and supporting their carers.

Discussion: People affected by eating disorders, particularly anorexia nervosa, may deny having a problem, minimise their symptoms and resist treatment yet engage partially with their GP throughout the course of their illness. There are well-validated, quick screening tools that the non-specialist can use to identify patients at high risk of having an eating disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Early Diagnosis
  • General Practice*
  • Humans