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Interventions for preventing eating disorders in children and adolescents

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2002
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Title
Interventions for preventing eating disorders in children and adolescents
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2002
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd002891
Pubmed ID
Authors

Belinda M Pratt, Susan Woolfenden

Abstract

Eating disorders represent an extremely difficult condition to treat and patients consume an enormous amount of mental health energy and resources. Being young, female, and dieting are some of the few identified risk factors that have been reliably linked to the development of eating disorders, and several prevention eating disorder prevention programs have been developed and trialed with children and adolescents. The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate the effectiveness of eating disorder prevention programs for children and adolescents both in the general population and those determined to be at risk. 1. To determine if eating disorder prevention programs are effective in promoting healthy eating attitudes and behaviours in children and adolescents; 2. To determine if eating disorder prevention programs are effective in promoting psychological factors that protect children and adolescents from developing eating disorders; 3. To determine if eating disorder prevention programs are effective in promoting satisfactory physical health in children and adolescents; 4. To determine if eating disorder prevention programs have a long-term, sustainable, and positive impact on the mental and physical health of children and adolescents; and, 5. To determine the safety of eating disorder prevention programs in terms of possible harmful consequences on the mental or physical health of children and adolescents. Relevant trials are identified through searching the Cochrane Controlled Trial Register (CCTR) and relevant biomedical and social science databases. All terms necessary to detect prevention programs and the participant groups are used. A strategy to locate randomised controlled trials is used. Other sources of information are the bibliographies of systematic and non-systematic reviews and reference lists from articles identified through the search strategy. In order to identify unpublished studies, experts in the field are contacted by letter and/or electronic mail. Randomised controlled trials (RCT) with a major focus on eating disorder prevention programs for children and adolescents, where there is no known DSM-IV diagnosis of an eating disorder, are eligible for inclusion in the review. Trials must include a control group and at least one objective outcome measure (eg. BMI) or a standardised psychological measure used with the intervention and control group, pre- and post-intervention. A total of 1379 titles have been identified through the search to date. 13 studies were located that reported use of a randomised controlled trial methodology and were critically appraised by two independent reviewers. Five (5) studies were excluded as data were not reported in a useable form or useable data could not be obtained from the trial authors, one dissertation could not be obtained, one study had no "true" no-treatment or usual treatment control group, and one study did not use a pre-test outcome measure. Eight (8) studies met the selection criteria outlined above. Only one of eight pooled comparisons of two or more studies using similar outcome measures and similar intervention types demonstrated the statistically significant effect of a particular type of eating disorder prevention program for children and adolescents. Combined data from two eating disorder prevention programs based on a media literacy and advocacy approach indicate a reduction in the internalisation or acceptance of societal ideals relating to appearance at a 3- to 6-month follow-up (Kusel, unpublished; Neumark-Sztainer2000) [SMD -0.28, -0.51 to -0.05, 95% CI]. However, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that this approach also demonstrated a significant impact on awareness of societal standards relating to appearance. There is insufficient evidence to support the effect of four programs designed to address eating attitudes and behaviours and other adolescent issues on body weight, eating disorder symptoms, associated eating disorder psychopathology or general psychological and physical well-being in the general sample or those classified as being at high risk for eating disorder (Buddeberg-F 1998; Killen 1993/1996; Santonastaso 1999; Zanetti 1999). Given only one program used a psychoeducation approach to prevent bulimia nervosa (Jerome, unpublished) and only one program adopted a focus on self-esteem (O'Dea 2000), the effect of these approaches could not be evaluated via meta-analyses. In relation to potential harmful effects, there is not sufficient evidence to suggest that harm resulted from any of the prevention programs included in the review. The one significant pooled effect in the current review does not allow for any firm conclusions to be made about the impact of prevention programs for eating disorders in children and adolescents, although none of the pooled comparisons indicated evidence of harm. From a clinical perspective, the development and refinement of prevention programs is complicated by a lack of knowledge about risk factors associated with eating disorders and the need to strike a balance between delivering preventive interventions for eating disorders and considering the potential to cause harm. From a research perspective, the idea of "thresholds" for identifying young people at risk of developing eating disorders has been raised, and denial of concern or denial of illness represents a further issue complicating early identification in relation to eating disorder symptomatology. Longer-term effects of the intervention approaches will need to be monitored across development in order to demonstrate a decline in the incidence of eating disorders and associated risk factors.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profile of 1 tweeter who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 314 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
South Africa 1 <1%
India 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Denmark 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 308 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 59 19%
Student > Ph. D. Student 43 14%
Student > Bachelor 39 12%
Researcher 35 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 20 6%
Other 73 23%
Unknown 45 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 90 29%
Psychology 71 23%
Nursing and Health Professions 33 11%
Social Sciences 25 8%
Sports and Recreations 6 2%
Other 35 11%
Unknown 54 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 06 April 2018.
All research outputs
#8,009,705
of 12,768,104 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#8,757
of 10,426 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#69,120
of 125,106 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#64
of 83 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,768,104 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 23rd percentile – i.e., 23% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,426 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.3. This one is in the 10th percentile – i.e., 10% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 125,106 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 33rd percentile – i.e., 33% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 83 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 7th percentile – i.e., 7% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.