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Eat Behav. 2000 Sep;1(1):79-91.

Assessment of dental practitioners in the secondary and tertiary prevention of eating disorders.

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Department of Health Promotion and Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA.


A questionnaire based upon the transtheoretical model and the health belief model was utilized to investigate dental practitioners' involvement in the secondary and tertiary prevention of eating disorders. Findings indicate that respondents are in the precontemplation or contemplation stages in identification, oral treatment, referral, and case management behaviors. Many are not completely aware of the health implications and oral manifestations of disordered eating and barriers were identified which may stand in the way of secondary and tertiary prevention. This pilot study provides a framework for the development of effective programming to increase the proportion of dental practitioners involved in prevention of eating disorders. To move the dental professionals toward assessment, referral, and case management, barriers to action must be removed.

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