Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Sweden’s welfare authority introduces new eating disorder guidelines

Published today 12:36
- By Editorial Staff
The authority believes that the health care system must offer several different forms of psychological treatment adapted to eating disorders.

38 new national guidelines for eating disorders will provide more knowledge, more treatment options, and more individualized care for patients, according to the National Board of Health and Welfare. The need for new guidelines is said to be due to major gaps in current knowledge and care.

Approximately 200,000 people in Sweden are thought to suffer from some form of eating disorder, with the number of unreported cases also believed to be high. The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) believes that one of the problems in care is that eating disorders are not always recognized and that there are large regional differences in the care of eating disorders.

– Eating disorders are a major public health problem, but at the same time too many people do not get the care they need. We see that there is a lack of knowledge about the different types of eating disorders and that resources are insufficient in many places, said Sofia von Malortie, head of unit at the National Board of Health and Welfare, in a press release.

As a result, 38 new guidelines on eating disorders have now been produced, pointing out the lack of knowledge about different types of eating disorders, where the knowledge today is mainly about anorexia and bulimia. Among other things, ARFID, or restrictive eating disorder, is common among children and can cause them to grow slowly or stop growing.

– With the national guidelines, we hope that more people will be able to get treatment, and get it early – so that the problems do not have time to grow, says von Malortie.

Tailored treatments

There is also a need for better access to different types of treatment adapted to different types of eating disorders. The importance of a clearer division of responsibilities, better care structures and support from different professional groups is also emphasized.

– The health care system needs to be able to offer different types of psychological treatment adapted to eating disorders and to be able to change if one treatment does not work. For some children and adolescents, for example, family therapy is appropriate, for others it is not, says Elisabeth Eidem, a researcher at the National Board of Health and Welfare.

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