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Adjusting to daily life with social isolation and lockdown has its challenges and the dramatic situation that we find ourselves in because of the COVID-19 pandemic, means people with eating disorders are at risk of their disorder becoming more severe or relapsing.

COVID-19 has dramatically expanded across the world with a major outbreak in several countries. To limit the number of new cases and deaths, most governments have decided to put their countries on lockdown.

The increased risk to people with eating disorders at this time comes from multiple sources including:

  • Anxiety about infection
  • Changes in the availability of food
  • The effects of social isolation
  • More limited availability of adequate psychological and psychiatric treatments.

A potential practical solution to address some of these problems is to deliver enhanced cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT-E), an evidence-based treatment for all eating disorders, remotely.

 

The COVID-19 situation presents new challenges for people with eating disorders. As a clinician I see the devastating impact that the current threat, in combination with the policies currently in place to limit the spread of the virus, is having on people living with an eating disorder. We hope this new, practical guidance will support clinicians to offer an evidence-based treatment for patients during this difficult time. - Dr Rebecca Murphy, Senior Research Clinician, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

 

In this new guidance document - Challenges and Opportunities for CBT - E in light of COVID-19 several issues are discussed including:

  • The challenges and advantages of delivering CBT-E remotely
  • New problems that patients with eating disorders may face in this period which need addressing
  • Potential opportunities for improving the outcome of treatment
  • How to adapt the various stages, strategies and procedures of CBT-E for teletherapy use in the particular circumstances of COVID-19.

View this new practical guidance for therapists.

 

 

More information from The Centre for Research on Eating Disorders at Oxford (CREDO).

NIHR OXFORD HEALTH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE NEWS

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