Updates from the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders

by La-Shell Johnson, Program Coordinator

Since our last update, we here at the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (NCEED) have continued to make progress on several exciting initiatives. As mentioned in our previous update, work officially began on the development of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment for eating disorders (SBIRT-ED) in December 2020. ­­­Given the focus on primary care providers (PCPs), we wanted to ensure that SBIRT-ED was built around their specific needs. Thus, we worked with the UNC-based Communication for Health Applications and Interventions (CHAI) Core to conduct a series of qualitative interviews with PCPs in order to learn more about how they interact with individuals with eating disorders, their needs in terms of screening and management, and their preliminary feedback on the SBIRT-ED approach. The results of these interviews will inform subsequent steps with CHAI Core during which we will go through a rigorous user experience design process and prototyping of the protocol. Focus group feedback throughout this process will ensure that we are continuing to center the needs of PCPs as we enlist their help in treating individuals with eating disorders. We’ll be sure to keep readers updated on the progress of SBIRT-ED including an official launch date and how to access the finished product!

Our last update also alluded to the creation of infographics and summaries of peer-reviewed articles in an effort to more widely disseminate key information in a reader-friendly format. The first summary created is Family-Based Therapy for Eating Disorders, which was adapted from Family-Based Treatment of Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa: The Maudsley Approach. By creating a more succinct version, we hope that busy clinicians can digest crucial information about eating disorders efficiently with minimum time and effort burden. Several additional infographics and summaries are in the pipeline including, eating disorders treatment guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association.

NCEED also launched a monthly webinar series in December 2020 as we remain committed to providing education and training to both PCPs and eating disorders clinicians alike. The webinar series features each of NCEED’s Content Experts who provide training within their areas of expertise on a wide variety of topics related to eating disorders. We launched the series with a presentation by Dr. Anna Bardone-Cone on Conceptualizing Eating Disorder Recovery. Since then, Drs. Jennifer Kirby and Donald Baucom presented on UNITE: Engaging Couples in the Treatment of Eating Disorders, Dr. Mae Lynn Reyes-Rodriguez presented on Eating Disorders and Culture: Providing a Culturally Sensitive Treatment for Latinxs, and Anna Lutz presented on Assessing the Growth of Children and Adolescents for the Screening, Treatment, and Prevention of Eating Disorders. Each of these live webinars will be available on-demand on the NCEED website. Importantly, free CMEs and CEs are available. Providing these webinars in an online format has allowed us to educate and share evidenced-based information with many people across the globe. To date, we have had over 400 people attend the first 4 scheduled webinars. Keep an eye out for our next scheduled webinar on April 23 with DDS candidate Brittany Davis. The webinar titled, “Multidisciplinary Intervention of Eating Disorders: Dentists Bring Novel Insight to the Team,” will share information on eating disorder interventions and their incorporation into dental treatment. If you’re interested in being kept informed about upcoming webinars, be sure to follow us on social media including: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

In the coming weeks and months there will be an expanded presence of NCEED including social media campaigns, traditional media outlets, and partnerships with key organizations. These efforts reflect the strategic communications and marketing plan developed by our communications team at Charge Ahead Marketing. Their expertise will allow NCEED to expand our reach and position us as a leader in the field of eating disorders education and training. We are enthusiastic about this partnership, particularly as we develop and launch SBIRT-ED and continue to promote our webinar series. 

Now in its 3rd year, the mission and vision of NCEED is purposeful and clear, and we are enthusiastic about the direction we’re headed. We envision SBIRT-ED to be a cornerstone product for the organization that will allow us to meet the training and education needs of PCPs who are crucial in detecting eating disorders. To that end, we will be working with our Advisory Board and other key stakeholders to roll out SBIRT-ED trainings, develop and launch curricula for medical and graduate students, and develop variations on SBIRT-ED for other types of frontline individuals including teachers, athletes, and community leaders. In parallel with these efforts, we will continue to provide training to the eating disorders field and work to increase eating disorder literacy among the public with webinars, free online resources, and consultations/technical assistance requests. With this multi-pronged approach, we are confident that NCEED can make a real difference in the lives of those with eating disorders. Click here to learn more about NCEED, and sign up for our newsletter at www.nceedus.org!