The team focuses on projects that fall into two broad categories of prevention and treatment. They aim to prevent eating disorders through a number of activities, while also improving services and care pathways for people with eating disorders.
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Eating Disorder Support app
The EDHIT team has developed an Eating Disorder Support app with Expert Self Care, and co-produced with public contributors, topic experts, charities and other partners, including Anorexia & Bulimia Care, Dominique Thompson at Buzz Consulting, First Steps ED, PANS PANDAS UK and Somerset & Wessex Eating Disorders Association.
The free app provides information, gives support and signposts useful sources of help. It is evidence-informed and has been co-created with people who have lived experience of eating disorders.
Eating Disorders support and resources guide
The team has produced an Eating Disorder Support & Resources Guide (PDF) to support anyone affected by eating disorders; those struggling personally and their families, partners and friends, as well as professionals.
Transitions in eating disorder care pathway
Receiving support for an eating disorder often involves transitions between different services, for example between medical and mental health services, between child/adolescent and adult services and, for people at university there will also be transitions between services inyour home and university services. EDHIT has been working to help to improve transitions for people moving from child and adolescent services (CAMHS eating disorder team) to adult eating disorder services (STEPS) including the introduction of a transitions working group and a dedicated transitions worker. We are currently looking at ways to evaluate this work.
Improving primary care for people with an existing or emerging eating disorder
GP surgeries are often the first place someone might go to discuss a problem and to seek help and support so it is vital that GPs and others that people might turn to are able to provide the best care and advice possible and that people who may be concerned about their own or someone else’s eating and/or bodyweight are able to access appropriate support . EDHIT have been researching the experiences of people with an eating disorder and their carers and of GPs in receiving or delivering care. We are researching a range of interventions to improve primary care for people with an eating disorder.
Social and digital media and eating disorders
There is growing evidence to suggest that social and digital media (SM /DM) can have negative impacts on people’s wellbeing, particularly on self-esteem and body image. But suggesting people stop using SM/DM altogether may not be realistic. We need to know more about how people with an eating disorder experience SM/DM and about how people can be effectively supported in using SM/DM safely. In collaboration with Paula Saukko at Loughborough University we are interviewing people with an eating disorder about their experiences SM/DM with the aim of developing ways to support safer SM/DM use.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder (BED) is often overlooked in both research and service provision. We have recently established a BED working group of interested health care professionals and people with lived experience to establish local priorities in research and service provision for people with BED.
EDHIT has designed, delivered and evaluated a number of Eating Disorder Prevention initiatives including school-based body image interventions and interventions to challenge restrictive cultural gender norms. We are keen to develop this strand of our work further.