A Triple Perspective on Barriers to Eating Disorder Treatment
Mark Warren, MD, MPH, FAED | The Emily Program—Ohio, (formerly Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders), Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Leah Dean, BA, | F.E.A.S.T. (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Mirjam Roelink, BS, MS | Recovery Warriers L.L.C., Amsterdam, Netherlands
Three members of the Patient-Carer Committee—a clinician, a former patient, and a parent—will offer unique, multi-perspective insights into (perceived) barriers to treatment, in order to spark a dialogue on efforts to improve patient care, strengthen family and community support services, and empower parents to be effective and engaged caregivers. Each presenter will be given equal time and will draw upon personal experience as well as the reported experiences of peers. Barriers presented from the clinician perspective include the lack of access to a full clinical team—especially well trained medical providers, the lack of access to a full range of care services, the tenuous and often misunderstood relationship between research results and clinical results, inadequate treatment options to support connection, commitment and motivation for patients/families, and the need for better quality evidence based treatments overall. Barriers from the patient perspective will focus on internal factors such as anosognosia, stigma, shame, negative attitudes towards seeking help, complex fears, and the walls of resistance that must be broken down in order to allow for recovery. Barriers presented from the parent perspective will focus on external factors, and include compromised standards of medical care, financial limitations, legal complications, lack of communication between treatment team professionals, and the marginalization, blaming and disempowerment of parents. Each presenter will offer solutions for how to identify and address barriers to treatment that pose potential harm to patients and families, and which can derail the best efforts of clinical care. Workshop participants will be able to relate to the barriers presented through a personal and experiential narrative that is authentic, genuine, and heartfelt; and, will better empathize with the frustrations these barriers cause for patients and carers. Learning
Recognize the importance of including multiple perspectives in formulating a treatment plan, and learn to listen to clinician, patient and carer experiences, observations and concerns in a manner that illuminates the specific barriers that are preventing
Identify universal and pervasive barriers to effective treatment and integrate into their practices strategies for facilitating better workarounds that strengthen the patient/parent/clinician relationship and maximize the potential for recovery.
Advocate for improvements to early identification and first interventions, educate others in order to reduce shame, stigma and to debunk myths, provide accessible information about eating disorders that improve public understanding and promote evidence-based treatment.