Nurse Practitioner Screening Practices for Eating Disorders
O’Banion, S. Ashley
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Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses with the potential to lead to life-long complications. The incidence of disease has remained relatively stable over the years despite the numerous social, economic, and health consequences. Screening tools exist for eating disorders and support an increased detection of disease, yet there is no standard tool utilized. Studies are lacking that identify how frequently nurse practitioners are screening for eating disorders and what barriers inhibit screening for the disease. A pilot study was designed to describe nurse practitioners’ current practices in screening for eating disorders and identify barriers preventing screening. Data revealed insufficient screening practices and associated barriers to screening, however, there was limited evidenced to support the assumption that barriers were preventing screening. Future research in screening for eating disorders and addressing barriers to screening is warranted. Implementing a universal screening tool, such as the SCOFF, would likely positively impact health care with an increase in awareness of eating disorders among health care providers and a reduction in the number of people suffering from the disease.