Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders

Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Special Interest Group

Download a database of child and adolescent eating disorder assessment measures. The database is in Microsoft Access format, and has been compressed into a ZIP file. To download and run, you will need to have both Microsoft Access and WinZip installed on your computer.

The focus of this SIG is to:

  • To share information and ideas about the specific issues associated with the child and adolescent population.
  • To offer a forum for discussion of clinical dilemmas/issues in treatment, and support for those professionals working with this age group.
  • To begin to formulate guidelines/minimum standards for the treatment of the age group in collaboration with the Task Force.
  • To look at ways of promoting the therapeutic work with this age group in order to have greater representation at the annual meetings/conferences.

Future Goals and Planned Activities

  • To meet annually at each international conference (London - AED).
  • To form a liaison via e-mail/listserv to further discussions on the focus of the group.
  • To be active in promoting the group and its activities and projects, and in taking a stand on particular issues.

Past Activities and History

In 2004 the Academy held its conference in Orlando. This SIG held a business meeting, in which a new co-chair was elected—welcome and thank you to Nancy Zucker. In this meeting we agreed to bring together a research resource base for clinicians/researchers working and conducting research with this population.

To this end Nancy and I have compiled a list of measures that are being used with this population: which have been validated for this age group and who has led the research with the tool. We expect to have this ready for the conference in Montreal in April 2005.

The 6th International Conference on Eating Disorders saw an increase in the number of workshop and paper presentations on the child and adolescent population. No meeting was held.

In 2002 the Academy held its conference in the Boston Plaza. This SIG held a business meeting, which brought new members, and we welcome them. The discussion section of the meeting focused on the involvement of families in the treatment of this age group. There was a strong feeling that, when hospitalized, children and adolescents were treated very differently from their counterparts in with other diagnoses.

Parents were often excluded from treatment, whereas in other health situations parents were actively encouraged to be part of the treatment team. There was a lively debate about why this would happen.

The 5th International Conference on Eating Disorders, London, April 1-4, 2001
Following the very successful half-day meeting at the ED 1999 conference, we decided to repeat the event at ED 2001. The Special Interest Group for children and adolescents with eating disorders met on Sunday, April 1.

The meeting was divided into two sections: the first led by Katherine Williams, Juniper Centre Southampton, and Marc Neiderman, Huntercombe Manor Maidenhead. The presentation they gave was on the psychological support of those patients on enteral feeding regimes.

The session covered the different types of enteral tubes used for feeding and the particular circumstances when enteral feeding would be considered in the younger population. The presenters then went on to discuss the way in which clinicians can support the patient as well as their families during the process. Consideration was given to the patient group where some were on enteral feeding regimes and some were not.

For those interested further in this subject, I recommend further reading: Naso-gastric feeding in children and adolescents with eating disorders: toward good practice'. Neiderman et al., 2001 International Journal of Eating Disorders Vol 29 #441-448. 'Enteric feeding in severe adolescent anorexia nervosa: a report of four cases'. Neiderman et al., 2000 International Journal of Eating Disorders Vol 28 #4 470-475.

The second section was led by Sue Morris, Northampton and Deborah Christie, London. This section was a debate on the treatment of children/adolescents on adult units. The two sides to the debate gave a comprehensive account of the particular needs of the younger population and how they might be met in both settings.

It was acknowledged that some adult units did attempt to provide appropriately for this age group although others did not, which led the discussion toward thinking about the best option among limited choices. The debate is in the process of being written up for publication. For further reading for treatment of children and adolescents, I recommend Anorexia Nervosa and related eating disorders in childhood and adolescence, 2nd edition, 2000 Bryan Lask & Rachel Bryant Waugh (Eds).

The meeting provided the setting for a lively discussion of the particular needs of the child/adolescent with an eating disorder at different degrees of severity, and how these needs at all levels are different from the adult with an eating disorder.

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