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Keywords:

  • eating disorders;
  • community-based training;
  • outreach

Abstract

The Ontario Community Outreach Program for Eating Disorders is a pilot training project within the eating disorder programs at the University Health Network—Toronto General Hospital (TGH) and the Hospital for Sick Children. This system provides ongoing training, consultation, and research evaluation in areas ranging from prevention through to tertiary care, in the hopes of increasing the capacity of practitioners to respond to the healthcare pressures of those experiencing eating disorders. A total of 3,315 health care practitioners and educators in Ontario participated in community-based training workshops. A pre–post analysis of participants' self-report evaluations was conducted using chi-square analyses. The findings revealed that there was a statistically significant increase in participants' (a) knowledge of eating disorders and of body image issues and (b) level of comfort to either treat clients with eating disorders or teach a curriculum on body image. The contribution of the training program to the development of a provincial network of specialized eating disorder services, designed to promote the public's access to timely and appropriate care for the full spectrum of eating disorders, are discussed. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.