Early intervention for eating disorders in young people

Michaela Flynn, Ulrike Schmidt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this chapter is to describe key concepts, findings, controversies, and gaps in our knowledge of early intervention for eating disorders (EDs). We present the rationale for early intervention in EDs, rooted in growing evidence supporting a stage model of illness for EDs. Building on research from the psychosis literature, we introduce the concept of duration of untreated eating disorder (DUED) and its constituent components (lack of problem awareness, time to help-seeking, and service-related delays) and their differing implications for early intervention. We also introduce three different models for early intervention services for EDs (one from Germany, and two from the United Kingdom) and the evidence supporting them. Although considerable steps are being taken toward facilitating and researching earlier intervention for EDs, compared with other areas of psychiatry (e.g., psychosis), early intervention in EDs is still in its infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEating Disorders and Obesity in Children and Adolescents
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780323548526
ISBN (Print)9780323548533
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Early intervention
  • Help-seeking


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