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The primary-care hurdle of eating disorders

The primary-care hurdle of eating disorders

Epidemiological research from different European countries highlights how eating disorders are under-diagnosed in primary care. A number of different reasons seem to present potent barriers to early diagnosis and intervention. These include:

•patient delay in presenting their eating problems;

•doctor delay in diagnosing eating disorders at an early stage;

•communication difficulties between doctors and eating-disorder patients;

•attitudinal biases of general practitioners towards these patients;

•gender differences between general practitioners and eating-disorder patients; and

•inadequate interventions by general practitioners including referrals to other specialists.

It is important that all of these barriers are overcome in order to facilitate secondary prevention by early intervention.

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