APA Launches Online Eating Disorder Assessment Tool

Megan Brooks

May 30, 2023

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has released an online screening and assessment tool for eating disorders.

"People with eating disorders have a high rate of mortality and are growing in prevalence among young adults and adolescents," APA CEO and medical director Saul Levin, MD, MPA, said in a news release.

"It is vital that we equip our clinicians, especially primary care clinicians, with the latest evidence from the APA to empower their decision-making and improve care for their patients," Levin added.

The clinical decision support tool was developed by the APA's guideline writing group in collaboration with AvoMD, a software company that translates clinical evidence into the workflow.

The tool guides clinicians through the screening, assessing, diagnosing, and treatment planning of patients with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and other eating disorders.

It's available free in the electronic health record, on the APA website, and on the AvoMD mobile app.

The tool is based on the APA's updated practice guidelines for the management of eating disorders, which were released in March, as previously reported by Medscape Medical News.

The tool incorporates guidance on screening tools, levels of care, nutrition, exercise, psychotherapy, and more. Additionally, the tool provides a summary of responses that can be leveraged for easy documentation.

It is intended for use by pediatricians, family physicians, and other primary care and mental health clinicians, including psychiatrists and therapists.

Data published earlier this year show that more than 1 in 5 children worldwide are at risk of developing an eating disorder. Girls are significantly more likely than boys to have disordered eating.

Early diagnosis and treatment are associated with a higher rate of recovery, and extended illness is associated with potentially devastating consequences, the APA notes.

"As an internal medicine physician myself, I see a wide variety of patients and clinical issues," Joongheum Park, MD,head of product and engineering at AvoMD, said in the release.

"Easy access to the expertise in me and my peers' workflow is essential to ensuring high-quality care, and partnering with the leading authority on eating disorders to provide this tool will improve clinician efficiency and most importantly, patient outcomes," Park added.

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