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Int J Eat Disord. 2005 Nov;38(3):269-72.

Family physician consultation patterns indicate high risk for early-onset anorexia nervosa.

Author information

1
Department of Mental Health, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, United Kingdom. b:lask@sghms.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

There is often a delay in the recognition of early-onset anorexia nervosa. The current study aimed to determine whether there are specific patterns in the frequency and content of family physician consultations that might predict its onset.

METHOD:

Lifetime number and type of family physician consultations were recorded for three groups: (a) an index group comprising 19 girls with anorexia nervosa, onset under 14; (b) a clinical control group comprising 19 girls with an emotional disorder; and (c) a nonclinical group comprising 19 girls with no history of mental health problems.

RESULTS:

Both clinical groups had an elevated number of consultations, particularly in the 5 years before diagnosis. The index group had a significantly higher number of eating, weight, and shape consultations (especially in the year before diagnosis), whereas the clinical control group had a greater number of psychological consultations.

CONCLUSION:

A single consultation about eating behaviour or weight and shape concerns is a strong predictor of the subsequent emergence of anorexia nervosa.

PMID:
16211625
DOI:
10.1002/eat.20163
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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