Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2020

Degree Type

Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nutrition

First Advisor

Jessica Todd, MS, RDN, LD

Second Advisor

Marci Soran

Third Advisor

Carrie Poline, DO

Fourth Advisor

Linda Buchanan, PhD

Fifth Advisor

Christine Engstrom, RDN, LD, CEDRD-S

Abstract

This purpose of this project was to take an in-depth review of the multi-disciplinary approach in the treatment of eating disorders from both a literature and narrative interview perspective. Eating disorders are the second deadliest mental health disorder and affect people of all genders, races, ethnicities, ages, and sexual orientations. It is estimated that 70 million people worldwide have an eating disorder, with up to 30 million in the United States alone. The etiology of eating disorders are multi-factorial and include genetic, biologic, individual, family, psychological, and socio-cultural factors and as such require a multi-disciplinary treatment approach. We conducted video interviews of practitioners in the eating disorder community to gain an inside perspective on how each field is involved in eating disorder treatment, what they look for when treating a client, and how they communicate across different disciplines to provide a holistic treatment approach. To gain this information, we interviewed dietitians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and physicians. Additionally, we incorporated feedback from recovered eating disorder patients as well as family members to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced from a family and patient perspective as well as successes and ideas on what they wish treatment professionals understood. Based on the interview data as well as an extensive literature review, we set out to develop a video documentary highlighting this 360-degree approach. Based on the information we obtained, we have identified the need for eating disorder education across all health modalities in the collegiate setting, a need for a more personalized support network for families entering the treatment process, and the importance of cross-discipline collaboration and learning.

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