A Crash Course in talking about Eating Disorders with Patients

Eating Disorders and Shame

For many clients there is a lot of shame and secrecy around their disorder. It’s best to introduce this topic with sensitivity and empathy. You can begin by asking your patients about what their diet and exercise regimen is like, and from there ask more direct questions like the ones below:

(The questionaires below are two general ED assessments you can use to ask more direct questions to clients)

ESP Inventory

  • Are you satisfied with your eating patterns? (A “no” to this question was classified as an abnormal response).
  • Do you ever eat in secret? (A “yes” to this and all other questions was classified as an abnormal response).
  • Does your weight affect the way you feel about yourself?
  • Have any members of your family suffered with an eating disorder?
  • Do you currently suffer with or have you ever suffered in the past with an eating disorder?

SCOFF Inventory

  • Do you make yourself Sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
  • Do you worry you have lost Control over how much you eat?
  • Have you recently lost more than One stone (14 lb or 7.7 kg) in a three month period?
  • Do you believe yourself to be Fat when others say you are thin?
  • Would you say that Food dominates your life?

Important Links:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1494802/

Full version of Doctor Guidelines for Assessment: http://www.shared-care.ca/files/Eating_Disorders_Toolkit.pdf

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