Clinical Practice Guideline for Eating Disorders.

  1. Introduction
  2. Scope and Objectives
  3. Methodology
  4. Definition and Classification of Eating Disorders
  5. Prevention of Eating Disorders
  6. Detection of Eating Disorders
  7. Diagnosis of Eating Disorders
  8. Interventions at the Different Levels of Care in the Management of Eating Disorders
  9. Treatment of Eating Disorders
  10. Assessment of Eating Disorders
  11. Prognosis of Eating Disorders
  12. Legal Aspects Concerning Individuals with Eating Disorders in Spain
  13. Detection, Diagnosis and Treatment Strategies for Eating Disorders
  14. Dissemination and Implementation
  15. Recommendations for Future Research
  16. Bibliography

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Health care practice is becoming more and more complex due to multiple factors, the most relevant being the exponential increase of scientific information.

To ensure that clinical decisions are appropriate, efficient and safe, health care professionals must constantly update their knowledge, an objective that entails great dedication and effort.

In the year 2003, the National Health System’s Interterritorial Council created the Health Guide (GuíaSalud) project, which aims ultimately to improve evidence-based clinical decision-making by means of training activities and the configuration of a Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) register in the NHS. Since then, the Health Guide project has assessed dozens of CPGs in accordance with explicit criteria generated by its scientific committee, registered these CPGs and disseminated them throughout the Internet. In early 2006, the Directorate General of the National Health System Quality Agency elaborated the Quality Plan for the National Health System, a plan that encompasses twelve strategies. The objective of this Plan is to increase cohesion of the NHS and aid in guaranteeing maximum quality health care to all citizens, regardless of their place of residence. As part of the plan, the development of eight CPGs on prevalent pathologies related with health strategies was assigned to different agencies and experts groups. This guide on eating disorders is the result of this assignment.

Additionally, the establishment of a common CPG development methodology for the NHS was assigned to CPG experts groups in our country, resulting in a collective effort of consensus and coordination amongst them.

In 2007, the Health Guide project was renovated by creating the Clinical Practice Guideline Library. This project thoroughly covers the elaboration of CPGs and includes other services and products of evidence-based medicine. It also aims to favour the implementation and assessment of the use of CPGs in the National Health System.

Eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, as well as other similar clinical pictures, are disorders of multifactorial ethiopathogeny that have been a great challenge for public health care in the last decades. Sociocultural factors that can lead to eating disorders, as well as the serious physical, social and psychological sequelae that these disorders entail have caused great social alarm. Eating disorders are diseases that not only involve the affected individual, but also the family and closest environment, and even health care and education professionals who are directly or indirectly involved, and who have no access to guides to address these disorders successfully.

This CPG aims to provide the population and health care and education professionals with a useful instrument to address the most basic aspects of the disease, especially those concerning prevention and treatment. Understanding and assessing these diseases, identifying them and assessing their risk potential, as well as presenting therapeutic objectives, and deciding on the best site for treatment and providing help to families, are tasks that can be tackled from different professional settings with an undeniable benefit for patients and family members. Such is the role that this evidence-based guide aims to exercise, and which is the result of the work performed by a group of professionals involved in the field of eating disorders and experts on CPG methodology.

This CPG has been revised by Spanish eating disorders experts and is endorsed by Spanish patient associations and scientific societies involved in the management of these patients.

Pablo Rivero
General Director
Quality Agency of the National Health System




Latest update: January 2010

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