Predictors of treatment seeking and uptake among respondents to a widely disseminated online eating disorders screen in the United States

Anne Claire Grammer, Jillian Shah, Agatha A. Laboe, Claire G. McGinnis, Katherine N. Balantekin, Andrea K. Graham, Lauren Smolar, C. Barr Taylor, Denise E. Wilfley, Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To explore predictors of treatment seeking and uptake among individuals following an online eating disorders (EDs) screen in the U.S. disseminated by the National Eating Disorders Association. Method: Respondents who screened at risk or positive for a probable ED from 04/2019 to 05/2021 (N = 263,530) were eligible to complete a 2-month follow-up survey that assessed treatment seeking and uptake after being offered referral options following screening. Analyses were conducted using chi-square tests or logistic regressions. Results: Sixty thousand thirty-four respondents (22.8%) opted-in to the follow-up survey, of whom 2276 (3.8%) completed it. Of the final analytic sample (n = 1922), 35.7% of respondents reported seeking and 22.4% reported receiving treatment. Treatment seeking and uptake were more common among respondents who were female, White, or >24 years of age; uptake was more common among respondents who were non-Hispanic or higher income. Elevated shape/weight concerns were significantly, albeit modestly, associated with reduced likelihood to receive treatment. Discussion: Demographic differences in treatment seeking and uptake highlight the need to optimize ED screening tools/feedback to meet the needs of underserved groups and to address stereotypes and structural barriers that may interfere. Research is also needed to identify barriers to uptake among those with elevated shape/weight concerns. Public Significance: Relatively low rates of treatment seeking and uptake were observed, particularly among underserved groups, 2 months following a widely disseminated online eating disorders screen. Optimization of online eating disorder screening tools and delivery of feedback and referral information may be needed to increase health care utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1252-1258
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume55
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • eating disorders
  • health care utilization
  • online
  • screening
  • uptake

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