Variables that influence diagnosis and treatment of the eating disorders within primary care settings: A vignette study
Article first published online: 13 DEC 2006
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 40, Issue 3, pages 257–262, April 2007
How to Cite
Currin, L., Schmidt, U. and Waller, G. (2007), Variables that influence diagnosis and treatment of the eating disorders within primary care settings: A vignette study. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 40: 257–262. doi: 10.1002/eat.20355
- Issue published online: 23 FEB 2007
- Article first published online: 13 DEC 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 OCT 2006
- eating disorders;
- primary care;
- patient variables
This study examined the influence of clinical and nonclinical features of case presentation on the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders in primary care.
Family physicians from a defined region of the UK were provided with two vignettes, characterizing eating disorder presentations in primary care. Case gender, ethnicity, weight status, and diabetes history were experimentally manipulated. Outcome variables included the primary diagnosis and the treatment course selected for each case.
Female cases were more likely to receive an eating disorder diagnosis, even when their symptoms were identical to those of males. Nonclinical demographic variables also influenced treatment decisions. Weight status and physical comorbidity had a limited influence on treatment pathways.
Nonclinical features of case presentations are used when making eating disorder diagnoses and in selecting treatment. Decision-making in primary care does not reflect recommendations from clinical guidance, and this disparity might increase the risk of complications in the care of sub-groups of eating-disordered patients. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2007