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Keywords:

  • primary care providers;
  • eating disorder curriculum;
  • intensive training

Abstract

Objective

Primary care providers frequently lack adequate training in treating eating disorders. This study examined the effectiveness of an eating disorder curriculum designed to address the lack of knowledge among primary care providers.

Method

Medical social workers completed four intensive training sessions, each lasting 75 min. Participants completed questionnaires assessing eating disorder knowledge, perceived ability to treat eating disorders, and practice behaviors, before and after training as well as at 6-month follow-up.

Results

The eating disorder curriculum resulted in a significant increase in eating disorder knowledge and a moderate improvement in practice behaviors such as screening new patients for an eating disorder. Training did not significantly change providers' perceived ability to intervene.

Discussion

The results of this pilot study suggest that brief intensive training can increase providers' knowledge and change their routine clinical practices, resulting in increased rates of detection and intervention in the primary care setting. © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 30: 209–212, 2001.