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Int J Eat Disord. 2013 Jul;46(5):386-94. doi: 10.1002/eat.22090.

The research-practice gap: bridging the schism between eating disorder researchers and practitioners.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA. slilien@emory.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The field of eating disorders (EDs) treatment has been beset by a marked disjunction between scientific evidence and clinical application. We describe the nature and scope of the research-practice gap in the ED field.

METHOD:

We draw on surveys and broader literature to better understand the research-practice gap in ED treatment and reasons for resistance to evidence-based practice.

RESULTS:

We identify three sources of the research-practice gap: (1) attitudinal factors, (2) differences in the definition of "evidence," and (3) cognitive factors, especially naïve realism and confirmation bias. We affirm the role of science as a safeguard against human fallibility and as a means of bridging the research-practice gap, and delineate key principles of scientific thinking for ED researchers and practitioners.

DISCUSSION:

We conclude with proposals for narrowing the research-practice gap in ED treatment and enhancing the quality of interventions for ED clients.

PMID:
23658076
DOI:
10.1002/eat.22090
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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