The results from an optimised eating disorder program at Ramsay Clinic Hollywood will be showcased from June 20 at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ International Congress 2022 in Edinburgh.
The optimised eating disorder program was introduced at the clinic in 2014 and the initiatives implemented resulted in an increased rate of weight restoration (0.6kg/week to 1.5kg/week) and more than halved the patients’ length of stay (52 days in 2013 to 24 days in 2017).
Clinical lead, Dr Vash Singh, said patients with eating disorders are often admitted to hospital for weight restoration and medical stabilisation.
“There is therefore a strong clinical imperative to improve the efficiency of treatment in a hospital setting, in order for more seriously unwell eating disorder patients to have access to specialist care,” Dr Singh said.
“Improved efficiency allowed for patients to remain in hospital until their weight was restored, which reduced the risk of readmission, and is something that very few eating disorder services in the country are able to achieve.”
“Globally, the rates of admission for patients with anorexia nervosa has increased, but so too have multiple admissions per person,” Dr Singh said.
“We need to prioritise efficiency in treatment settings, so as to allow more patients to access specialist care.”
In similar news, clinicians are being encouraged to rapidly refer their waitlisted patients with an eating disorder to In the Wings – a free, federally-funded single session intervention with a trained psychologist, available until 30 June 2022.
An initiative by the Butterfly Foundation, the national charity for Australians affected by eating disorders and body image concerns, In the Wings is for people on an eating disorder treatment plan or mental health care plan and waiting for eating disorder support.
The foundation’s Clinical Services Director, Ranjani Utpala, said that like many health care providers in the sector, Butterfly has seen an overwhelming demand for services for eating disorders, reporting a 275% increase in contacts to its national Helpline over the last 5 years.
“Psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs, dietitians and other healthcare professionals working with people with eating disorders are well aware of the significant demand we’re seeing for our services,” Ms Utpala said.
“There is emerging evidence to suggest that people can experience symptom improvement if they receive support and information while they await treatment.
“By offering an SSI in the early stages of referral, we can ensure that… people receive the psychoeducation and resources to keep them engaged, and provide hope and motivation to make small changes while they wait for an appointment”
The pilot intervention has been shown to facilitate improvements in eating disorder symptoms, and an increase in the likelihood of people entering treatment.
For more information or to refer a client, go to www.butterfly.org.au/inthewings