Navigating the transition from pediatric to adult eating disorder programs: Perspectives of service providers

Authors

  • Gina Dimitropoulos MSW, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Eating Disorders Program, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
    2. Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
    • Eating Disorders Program, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C4
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  • Angela Faith Tran BSc (Hons),

    1. Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • Payal Agarwal MD,

    1. Department of Family Medicine, Toronto East General Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • Brandon Sheffield MD,

    1. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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  • Blake Woodside MD, FRCPC

    1. Eating Disorders Program, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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Abstract

Objective:

This study aims to conduct qualitative research on the perspectives of service providers regarding the transition process from pediatric to adult specialized eating disorder tertiary care programs.

Method:

Two focus groups with a diverse group of clinicians in pediatric and adult eating disorder programs and five qualitative interviews with clinicians in the community were conducted.

Results:

Three themes were identified as challenges during the transition process: (1) illness related factors (ambivalence and denial); (2) the interruption of normative adolescent developmental processes by the illness; and, (3) the impact of decreased parental involvement in the adult compared to pediatric eating disorder programs.

Discussion:

These themes were compared with empirical evidence on other chronic mental or physical health concerns for the purpose of identifying ways to facilitate a more successful service transition for young adults with anorexia nervosa. Future research and clinical implications are delineated. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012; 45:759–767)

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