Treating young people with eating disorders: Transition from child mental health to specialist adult eating disorder services
Bouman, Walter P.
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Background: The transition from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) of young people with eating disorders may pose a number of difficulties, including an inconsistent referral process and age boundaries. Methods: We compared young adults referred to a specialist Adult Eating Disorders Service (AEDS) who had previous involvement with CAMHS for the treatment of their eating disorder with those who did not. Information regarding the socio-demographic characteristics and eating disorders symptomatology of patients assessed by an AEDS over a 4-year period was collected. Results: Patients who had previous involvement with CAMHS (particularly the ones treated as in-patients) presented with a lower self-esteem and more maturity fears (MF) than those without previous involvement. Conclusions: This study discusses the implication of these results in transitional arrangements between CAMHS and Adult services. It also highlights the need for heightened awareness of particular issues of self-esteem and maturation in these patients moving between services. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.