Pediatricians' role in managing adolescents with eating disorders: EAP recommendations
Poland: The European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP) has released recommendations on the role of pediatricians in caring for adolescents with eating disorders (EDs) in pediatric practice. The recommendations were published in Frontiers in Pediatrics on 26 April 2022. The primary care pediatrician's role in diagnosing and treating eating disorders is growing given the growing number...
Poland: The European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP) has released recommendations on the role of pediatricians in caring for adolescents with eating disorders (EDs) in pediatric practice. The recommendations were published in Frontiers in Pediatrics on 26 April 2022.
The primary care pediatrician's role in diagnosing and treating eating disorders is growing given the growing number of adolescents suffering from EDs and access to psychiatric care limited by the epidemiological and demographic situation. In lieu of this, the EAP decided to summarize knowledge about EDs and formulate recommendations to support European pediatricians and improve care for adolescents with EDs.
Patients with suspected or confirmed eating disorders carry a considerable risk of morbidity and even mortality are often encountered by pediatricians. Early detection, appropriate diagnostic workup, and effective treatment require transdisciplinary collaboration. All are essential for improving the prognosis of the patients. In the study, Agnieszka Rynkiewicz, University of Rzeszow, Rzeszow, Poland, and colleagues aimed to review current knowledge relevant to practicing pediatricians and provide recommendations of the EAP on the role of pediatricians in caring for adolescents with ED and for actions of authorities and pediatric societies aiming to improve healthcare for these patients.
The Role of Pediatricians
The role of primary care pediatricians is crucial in ED's screening and early diagnosis as they have the unique opportunity to monitor adolescents' health regularly, and they have the chance, to some extent, to assess adolescents' family and social situations. Therefore, the assessment of nutritional status should be a mandatory part of the examination, as it may be the first sign of ED.
For international and national state, health, and education authorities
- Adolescents with ED require multidisciplinary care. Therefore, this issue should be present in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.
- National health authorities should provide adolescents with ED with multidisciplinary care and support for their families.
For European and national pediatric societies
- Pediatric societies should support their members through ongoing training in ED.
- Pediatric societies should advocate for increasing the availability of psychiatric and psychological care for adolescents with ED.
- An integral part of each patient visit should be the assessment of their nutritional status.
- Measurement of blood pressure and heart rate should be a part of every physical examination of adolescents with ED.
- When assessing the risk of ED, pediatricians should use the questionnaires with which they have the most experience and are available in the local language.
- The role of a pediatrician is to cooperate with a psychiatrist and psychologist in the therapeutic process, with particular emphasis on regular assessment of the nutritional status and early identification of health risk signs.
- Adolescents with life-threatening complications of ED and those who have failed in weight normalization efforts should be referred to the hospital.
Rynkiewicz A, Dembiński Ł, Koletzko B, Michaud P-A, Hadjipanayis A, Grossman Z, Korslund K, King BH, Treasure J, Peregud-Pogorzelski J, del Torso S, Valiulis A and Mazur A (2022) Adolescents With Eating Disorders in Pediatric Practice – The European Academy of Paediatrics Recommendations. Front. Pediatr. 10:806399. doi: 10.3389/fped.2022.806399
Medha, MSc. Biotechnology
Medha Baranwal joined Medical Dialogues as an Editor in 2018 for Speciality Medical Dialogues. She covers several medical specialties including Cardiac Sciences, Dentistry, Diabetes and Endo, Diagnostics, ENT, Gastroenterology, Neurosciences, and Radiology. She has completed her Bachelors in Biomedical Sciences from DU and then pursued Masters in Biotechnology from Amity University. She has a working experience of 5 years in the field of medical research writing, scientific writing, content writing, and content management. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact no. 011-43720751