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J Adolesc Health. 2005 Mar;36(3):208-13.

Follow-up evaluation of a high school eating disorders screening program: knowledge, awareness and self-referral.

Author information

  • 1Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. cherds@adelphia.net

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To conduct a regional, follow-up evaluation to assess the implementation and effectiveness of the National Eating Disorders Screening Program (NEDSP), conducted in high schools nationwide in the spring of 2000.

METHODS:

Four New England high schools participated in a postscreen evaluation 1 to 2 months after implementation of NEDSP. A 35-item, self-report postscreen survey was administered to students in classrooms with assistance from school health staff and teachers. School staff involved in the screening were also interviewed. Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds that students talked to an adult or peers about their screening score.

RESULTS:

Data from 592 girls and 435 boys were included in the analysis in the four high schools participating in the program evaluation. NEDSP helped to identify students at risk and encouraged students to speak to others about their screening score and eating disorder symptoms. One-quarter of girls and one-fifth of boys reported talking with at least one adult about their EAT-26 screening score. Girls felt more strongly than boys that the program helped them learn about eating disorders, change their thinking related to eating disorders and body image, and talk to friends about eating disorders. Overall, the students felt that the program was helpful and would recommend it to their friends.

CONCLUSIONS:

Early detection of eating disorders in adolescents may shorten the interval between onset of symptoms and treatment, which has the potential to reduce the length of illness and morbidity associated with untreated eating disorders. Our findings suggest that high-school-based screening may be an effective way to facilitate early detection of eating disorder symptoms in adolescents.

PMID:
15737776
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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