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Psychiatr Danub. 2013 Sep;25 Suppl 2:S295-9.

Treatment of eating disorders among ethnic minorities in western settings: a systematic review.

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Transcultural Mental Healthcare, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK,



This systematic review looked at the utilisation of treatment, access to treatment and referral of ethnic minorities for treatment of eating disorders in western settings. It also aimed to explore the barriers in access and utilisation of treatment including the role of acculturation.


The review included both qualitative and quantitative studies. The search identified a total of 2786 articles. Out of the 2786 articles, 12 articles (1 qualitative and 11 quantitative) were selected for the purpose of the research.


The review showed that ethnic minority communities in UK and USA were far less likely to seek and receive treatment for their eating disorders and also less likely to be diagnosed and referred to eating disorder services or clinics for treatment of their eating disorders. Referral bias of ethnic minority participants to specialist eating disorder services were found in three quantitative studies (Waller et al. 2009, Becker et al. 2003, Abbas et al. 2010). The review also found that more accultured ethnic minority participants were more likely to seek treatment for their eating disorders.


The above study has shown that ethnic minorities are less likely to have access to treatment for Eating Disorders.

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