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NEW! ANZAED Practice Standards

New ANZAED clinical practice and training standards have been developed to provide guidance for mental health and dietetic professionals who provide treatment to people who have an eating disorder. The treatment principles and general clinical practice standards have been published as well as the specific clinical practice standards for mental health professionals in the Journal of Eating Disorders.

As the first of their kind, the practice standards will help to ensure best practice, patient safety and optimal patient outcomes in the management of eating disorders.

The clinical practice and training standards can be viewed in the Journal of Eating Disorders via the following links:

Important information

  • Led by an expert group of eating disorder researchers and clinicians, the general principles and clinical practice standards were first developed, followed by separate dietetic-specific clinical practice and training standards and mental health-specific clinical practice and training standards.
  • A robust review process followed. It included four stages of consultation and document revision:
    1) Expert reviews
    2) Consultation workshops attended by approximately 100 eating disorder health professionals
    3) A public online consultation process; and
    4) Consultation with key stakeholders from professional and consumer/carer organisations.

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General treatment principles and practice standards

The ANZAED eating disorder treatment principles and general clinical practice and training standards are recommended for mental health clinicians and dietitians providing treatment for people with eating disorders.

The general principles include:

  1. Early intervention is essential
  2. Co-ordination of services is fundamental to all service models
  3. Services must be evidence-based
  4. Involvement of significant others in service provision is highly desirable
  5. A personalised treatment approach is required for all patients
  6. Education and/or psychoeducation is included in all interventions
  7. Multidisciplinary care is required
  8. A skilled workforce is necessary

The guidelines outline seven general clinical practice standards which include: Diagnosis and assessment; The multidisciplinary care team; A positive therapeutic alliance; Knowledge of evidence-based treatment; Knowledge of levels of care; Relapse prevention; Professional responsibility.

Please see the video below to ANZAED Webinar on General Practice Standards:

For Mental Health Professionals

The ANZAED clinical practice and training standards for mental health professionals providing eating disorder treatment were developed to ensure that mental health professionals meet safe standards when providing eating disorder treatment to individuals.

  • The mental health-specific standards build on ANZAED’s general principles and practices and trainings standards for all clinicians providing eating disorder treatment.
  • With the new standards it is hoped that professionals will aim to achieve a level of competence in their experience and skills to improve patient outcomes.
  • However, it is acknowledged that without expert supervision, psychotherapy training does not always result in changed behaviour. Therefore it is strongly recommended that these standards are utilised under regular expert supervision of practice.
  • Given the requirement for provision of training clinics in Australian universities, this content can be best embedded by supervision of clinical practice in such settings.

For Dietitians

The ANZAED clinical practice and training standards for dietitians providing eating disorder treatmentdescribe the role of the dietitian in eating disorder treatment and provide a roadmap for effective and safe care.

  • The dietetic-specific standards build on ANZAED’s general principles and practice and trainings standards for all clinicians providing eating disorder treatment.
  • Based around the core dietetic skills of screening, professional responsibility, assessment, nutrition diagnosis, intervention, monitoring and evaluation, it details the required knowledge and skills for dietitians to effectively and safely manage individuals with an eating disorder.
  • The standards also outline the expectations and content required to be addressed in training programs that provide education on the eating disorder-specific dietetic knowledge and skills.

Future Directions

  • Both the dietetic and mental health-specific practice standards may also provide a useful framework to guide curriculum content development by universities and educational institutions.
  • It is also anticipated that the new standards may provide the basis for a credentialing system. A credentialing system would aid general practitioners, people seeking treatment and their families to find treatment providers who have appropriate levels of knowledge, training and experience in eating disorders for effective and safe practice.

Other work to support these practice standards should be considered, this includes:

  • Development of accessible checklists for consumers within a co-design approach
  • Practice Standards for general practitioners and paediatricians who manage referrals for the treatment of serious eating disorders, and whose review of client progress is necessary for continuation of extended therapy.