Since the start of the pandemic, the number of admissions for eating disorders has increased | Tech US News

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November 9, 2022

2 minutes of reading

Source/Disclosures

Disclosures:
Hartman-Munick reports receiving support from a grant from the Office of Maternal and Child Health. See the study for the relevant financial disclosures of all other authors.


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According to a study published in CAVE Pediatrics.

Sydney M. Hartman-Munich

Sydney M. Hartman-MunichMDphysician in the Department of Adolescent Medicine at UMass Memorial Medical Center, told Healio that the inspiration for the study came during her fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital last year, when she and her colleagues began to see “a flood of patients needing an eating disorder evaluation.” “

Eating disorders

The study found that the volume of inpatients and outpatients with eating disorders increased after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: Adobe Stock

“We kind of looked at each other and thought, ‘It looks like these numbers are really going up,’ but of course we couldn’t necessarily prove that,” Hartman-Munick said. “Then we took a cursory look at our own numbers and thought, ‘These numbers are really growing. It might be really interesting to see if that’s true elsewhere.'”

Hartman-Munick and colleagues reviewed data from 14 US medical centers and one private eating disorder program. After an initial decline in admissions at the start of the pandemic, the sites reported a significant increase in admissions of 7.2% per month until April 2021, followed by a 3.6% decrease per month until the following December.

“I was a bit surprised to see that the numbers started to decline after the first year of the pandemic, because [at the time] it still felt like we were seeing so many patients,” Hartman-Munick said. “But I think it’s less surprising that even though that decline has started to happen, we’ve by no means seen the numbers go back to some sort of pre-pandemic baseline.”

Hartman-Munick added that she was “surprised at first” by the first drop in outpatient ratings since the start of the pandemic.

“But when we thought about it a little bit more, it made a lot of sense because most clinics have closed for a while because of non-urgent concerns,” Hartman-Munick said. “Physical practices of primary care did not attend these patients, [and] we didn’t see these patients for a short time before we figured out how to do it safely and the start of the pandemic.”

She said she hopes the study “raises the alarm” about how little support health centers have for treating eating disorders.

“Even before the pandemic, we didn’t have enough treatment support for these patients,” Hartman-Munick said. “And now that we’ve seen higher numbers, that support is even less available, especially to patients who may be more marginalized, such as Medicaid patients or the LGBTQ plus population, or other people who have been traditionally marginalized and may not have been eating . easily identifiable disorders.’

She said the study illustrates the need for health care facilities to “prevent eating disorders before they even start.”

“We certainly haven’t cracked the code on how to prevent the development of eating disorders, so I think future studies of strategies to prevent eating disorders are critical,” Hartman-Munick said. “International events like this can be really scary and associated with big changes in the mental health of teenagers and young adults.”

References:

Hartman-Munick SM, et al. CAVE Pediatrician. 2022; doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.4346.

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