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Therapeutic approach to eating disorders

The instances of severe eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and food intake restriction or avoidance problems have risen dramatically.

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The Foundation of Stars is privileged to regularly come into contact with scientific researchers in numerous fields. Over the next few months, we will help you discover novel and exciting studies targeting various areas of pediatric research, all of them presented in layman’s terms, to help you learn more about the latest advances in the world of science. The month of March is dedicated to the mental health of children and adolescents!

The negative fall-out of COVID-19 is growing rapidly. The instances of severe eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and food intake restriction or avoidance problems have risen dramatically. At CHU Sainte-Justine alone, the number of cases has doubled over the last year. Eating disorders, moreover, have the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric diseases among youth.

This problem, already a major issue before the pandemic, grew by leaps and bounds with the introduction of quarantine measures. Treatment also became vastly more complicated, as youngsters found themselves isolated from their friends, stripped of their regular academic routine, forbidden to practice sports or leisure activities, and no longer benefiting from clinical support in a hospital setting. With outpatient services no longer available as a go-to treatment method, new measures had to be devised.

Interventions using telemedicine and telepractice are promising and will hopefully help youngsters cope with eating disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic. These potentially life-saving virtual solutions should prevent further deterioration of our children’s health while preventing hospitalizations in conjunction with eating disorders. The virtual approach, in fact, seeks to make healthcare services available that are both excellent and effective.

Dr. Nicholas Chadi's pilot project aims to have a positive influence on the life trajectory of as many young people as possible, even in a post-pandemic context, and to reduce the number of hospitalizations!

This research project is future-forward, setting up virtual treatment methods that will benefit the youth of today and tomorrow.