The role of the family physician in eating disorders

Shlomit Sayag, Yael Latzer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The steady increase in Eating Disorders (ED) during the last three decades has raised increasing concern over the early diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Due to the multi-factorial etiology of ED, treatment is complex, prolonged, and demands a team approach. Family physicians are often approached first for consultation following the patient's initial physical complaints. For this reason, the general practitioner can play a critical role in the early diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. By asking the appropriate questions and providing relevant information, the family physician (FP) may be able to refer the patient to treatment necessary for recovery, as well as assist in this process. Because the family physician typically has previous acquaintance with the patient and her family, he or she may be of considerable import to creating a therapeutic liaison and support framework with the professional team. This article will discuss the potential involvement and significance of the family physician in the successful diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of ED. The importance of the FP in the decision for hospitalization, referral, and follow-up is emphasized, as well as the pivotal role of the FP as a multi-disciplinary team coordinator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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