Two hundred forty six patients with eating disorders (EDs) recruited from eight Italian specialized treatment centres were administered with the World Health Organization “Encounter Form,” a standardized schedule that makes it possible to characterize the clinical pathways that patients follow to reach specialized care. The median time from symptoms onset to specialized care was 114 weeks. Primary “points of access to care” were general practitioners (25%), psychiatrists (18%), and clinical nutritionists (17%), followed by various other carers. All patients received specific psychotherapy, whereas only 11% of them were given psychotropic drugs. EDs are characterized by complex care pathways, with low rates of direct access to specialized care. Although the role of general practitioners remains crucial, they tend to follow different clinical routes to refer ED patients. Educational programmes on EDs should be addressed to general practitioners and clinical nutritionists, in order to ease the transition of ED patients to a mental health care setting.
Pathways to specialist care for eating disorders: An Italian multicentre study / Volpe, U.; Monteleone, A. M.; Ricca, V.; Corsi, E.; Favaro, A.; Santonastaso, P.; De Giorgi, S.; Renna, C.; Abbate Daga, G.; Amianto, F.; Balestrieri, M.; Luxardi, G. L.; Clerici, M.; Alamia, A.; Segura-Garcia, C.; Rania, M.; Monteleone, P.; Maj, M.. - In: EUROPEAN EATING DISORDERS REVIEW. - ISSN 1072-4133. - STAMPA. - 27:3(2019), pp. 274-282. [10.1002/erv.2669]