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Barriers to Eating Disorder Treatment

Project by Polygence alum Deshna

Barriers to Eating Disorder Treatment

Project's result

This research review analyzes the socioeconomic barriers patients with eating disorders face when seeking treatment. It has been pre-published in the Research Archive of Rising Scholars.

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Summary

With an increasing number of cases every year, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses globally. However, more than half of the diagnosed patients do not receive suitable treatment. This paper identifies the delays in both mental and physical care in eating disorder treatment and their impacts on patients’ course of recovery. The reasons for these delays will be highlighted based on patients’ personal experiences and information compiled from different online sources, such as research articles and surveys found through Pubmed and Google Scholar. Research, surveys, and patients’ personal feedback highlight that treatment barriers are primarily due to high financial costs for care, stigma surrounding recovery, bias against minorities, inconsistent treatment, and insufficient outpatient care. Furthermore, from a medical standpoint, primary care physicians only have surface level knowledge on how to provide treatment to patients, but end up having to do so because there are a limited number of eating disorder specialists. If patients are diagnosed and given adequate care in the beginning stages and throughout their eating disorders, then not only will they be more likely to avoid falling into critical mental and physical conditions, but they will likely reach the point of recovery quicker and more efficiently.

Juliana

Juliana

Polygence mentor

MPH Master of Public Health candidate

Subjects

Medicine, Biology, Social Science, Psychology

Expertise

Mental health research, cognitive science, public health, health policy, disability studies

Deshna

Deshna

Student

School

Evergreen Valley High School

Graduation Year

2025

Project review

“With the guidance of my mentor, I learned a lot about the process of writing a literature review. My mentor has given me tips and insight in how to write research papers, while providing me with a lot of autonomy during these few months.”

About my mentor

“My mentor was helpful in guiding me through my project because she provided me with many tips and resources, while giving me a lot of autonomy in approaching and writing my literature review.”