Understanding the distribution, determinants and impacts of Eating Disorders is critical to their recognition and informs health service needs and policy. This Masterclass will review international and national research with focus on general population and longitudinal surveys; key aspects of design, particularly screening and assessment instruments; and, critical evaluation and interpretation of results -especially notable examples of counter-intuitive results.

This Masterclass will be interactive and suitable for researchers, clinicians and others interested in research and investigating distribution and determinants of eating disorders.

Professor Phillipa Hay is an academic psychiatrist and leading mental health researcher. In 2015 she received the Lifetime Leadership Award from the ANZ Academy for Eating Disorders, and in 2020 she was awarded the RANZCP Senior Research Award. She has published >367 Scopus indexed scientific papers and regularly presents her work nationally and internationally. She has been a leading Investigator on all major randomised controlled trials of therapy for adults with anorexia nervosa in as well as others in bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Similarly, she has led many Cochrane and other systematic reviews distilling the research evidence. Her research into “what works” in eating disorders has informed clinical practice and other national and international guidelines and the recent Medicare funding for care in eating disorders. A major trial of people with longstanding anorexia nervosa for example has been influential in alternative models of care and service being developed for them. The White Paper she led at Western Sydney University supported a National Forum in 2018 and a commitment by National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC) to develop guidelines for care of people with high BMI where she is Chair of the Working Group. She has made other major contributions to guideline for clinical practice such as those of the RANZCP (Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2014 Nov; 48(11): pp977-1008) and Therapeutic Guidelines publication. The latter is widely referred to and utilised by general practitioner and specialists throughout Australia (https://www.tg.org.au/).

Deb Mitchison is a researcher and a clinical psychologist, specialising in eating and body image disorders. Her research is directed at reducing the burden of eating disorders and associated body image problems within the population. Her research has focused primarily on eating disorder epidemiology, including the prevalence, burden, course, health service utilisation and risk factors associated with eating and body image disorders. This research applies survey methods to large population-based samples and cohorts. Deb completed her training as a clinical psychologist in 2012, and received her PhD in Medicine in 2015. Following her PhD she commenced a Macquarie University Research Fellowship, investigating the prevalence and burden of eating disorders Australian adolescents by establishing a large school-based cohort of >5000 youth. At this time she also established with a partnership of leading Australian eating disorder clinics Australia’s first eating disorder registry. In 2019-2023 Deb completed an NHMRC (Health Professional) Early Career Fellowship (ECF) at Western Sydney University, expanding on this research to examine risk factors and illness trajectories for eating and body image disorders longitudinally. Deb is now employed as an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology at University of Technology Sydney where she trains clinical psychology students in research methods. Deb has enjoyed a productive early career in research, and has published over 125 peer-reviewed scientific articles. She enjoys collaborating with many academics across Australia and the globe, supervising HDR students, and contributing to professional development and advocacy efforts.

This 2-hour Masterclass on Zoom will examine a framework for addressing comorbidity in eating Disorders1. We will then examine augmentation of therapy for an eating disorder with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Perfectionism (CBT-P). Evidence for the effectiveness of this approach for eating, depression and anxiety will be briefly examined2,3 along with the indications that perfectionism may be helpful to target. A CBT-P protocol for augmentation will be presented, as both a hard copy and a more interactive web-based intervention that is freely available. A menu of relatively brief techniques will also be explored where it is not feasible to include substantial content on perfectionism in therapy.


CORE READING (will be supplied upon registration)
1. Wade TD, Shafran R, Cooper Z. (2023). Developing a protocol to address co-occurring mental health conditions in the treatment of eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders. DOI: 10.1002/eat.24008

2. Robinson, K., & Wade, T. D. (2021). Perfectionism interventions targeting disordered eating: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 54(4), 473-487.

3 . Shafran, R., Egan, S. J., & Wade, T. D. (2023). Coming of age: A reflection of the first 21 years of cognitive behaviour therapy for perfectionism. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 104258.

Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor Tracey Wade has worked as a clinician and researcher in eating disorders for over 30 years. She is the director of the Flinders University Institute for Mental Health and Wellbeing, the Blackbird Initiative, and the Flinders University Services for Eating Disorders (FUSED). She has cowritten 3 books on cognitive behaviour therapy for eating disorders and perfectionism and has over 270 publications in peer reviewed journals. Her contribution to the field of mental health has been recognised widely. In 2015 she was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. In 2016 she was made an Inaugural Honorary Fellow of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy. In 2019 she was appointed Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and was a recipient of the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders Distinguished Achievement Award. In 2020 she was the recipient of the Academy of Eating Disorders Outstanding Clinician Award. In 2021 she was given the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation Len Frankham award for outstanding achievement in children’s education and wellbeing research. In 2023 she was the recipient of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy Distinguished Career Award.

Epidemiological research in eating disorders

Presenters: Phillipa Hay and Deb Mitchison
Date: Tuesday 23 July 2024
Time: 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Registration Fee: Members: $40; Non-members: $80
This Masterclass will take place via zoom.

Register here >>