National Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Step 2. The Evaluation Process

As part of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, I am doing a series of blog posts dedicated to explaining evaluation and treatment at the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (CEED). For yesterday’s post, Step 1, the Referral, click here.

Step 2. Comprehensive Evaluation

Evaluation is one of the most important steps in working with our team. Laurie, our intake coordinator, (who you “met” yesterday) and I work with the information in the referral to schedule an evaluation and care. Here are some of the reasons patients and families come to us for an evaluation:

  • To determine whether:
    • They or their loved one has an eating disorder.
    • There is another diagnosis as well (for example, depression or anxiety)
  • To assess:
    • Which eating disorder
    • The severity of the disorder including a review of potential medical complications
  • To learn:
    • Why some people develop eating disorders
    • What is the evidence for different types of eating disorder treatment
  • To get help with finding care:
    • Finding a therapist and doctor who has experience with eating disorders can be challenging. We are here to help with this process.
    • We provide personalized treatment recommendations. Our clinical providers are experts in eating disorders and we are accepting new patients. However, there are a number of wonderful therapists, dieticians, and doctors in private practice as well. We can help point you in the right direction.
  • To reassess and get recommendations:
    • Sometimes patients come to us if they or their doctors want to get a second opinion. It’s important that we communicate with your current provider to learn how we can help you with all the parts of the treatment puzzle.

We ask that you come in to CEED to meet with us so we can hear everything directly from you. The evaluation typically takes 1 ½ to 2 hours. Our offices are on the 1st floor of UNC Neurosciences Hospital (Not the ground floor, but up one floor to the first floor. I know it’s confusing!) Where do you park? Here is a handy map of the hospital and the parking lot across from the Neurosciences Hospital on Manning Street.

After your appointment with us, we talk to your current treatment team and get more information. Finally, the clinical team at CEED comes together to discuss the best plan for your care and then gives you a call back to discuss possible treatment options. This process takes a while. It’s not quick and easy but it’s important to us that we do it right. It is always a privilege to meet you and help you on your journey to recovery. We are so grateful to you for trusting us with your story and with your care.

Tomorrow, I’ll take a brief hiatus from this series so we can bring you a post from the research arm of CEED, but I’ll be back on Thursday to talk about Step 3. Levels of Care.

Stephanie Zerwas, PhD

Clinical Director, UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders