A framework for conceptualising early intervention for eating disorders

Karina L. Allen, Victoria A. Mountford, Rosiel Elwyn, Michaela Flynn, Anthea Fursland, Nicole Obeid, Georgina Partida, Katie Richards, Ulrike Schmidt, Lucy Serpell, Scout Silverstein, Tracey Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: This paper outlines the evidence base for early intervention for eating disorders; provides a global overview of how early intervention for eating disorders is provided in different regions and settings; and proposes policy, service, clinician and research recommendations to progress early intervention for eating disorders.

Method and Results: Currently, access to eating disorder treatment often takes many years or does not occur at all. This is despite neurobiological, clinical and socioeconomic evidence showing that early intervention may improve outcomes and facilitate full sustained recovery from an eating disorder. There is also considerable variation worldwide in how eating disorder care is provided, with marked inequalities in treatment provision. Despite these barriers, there are existing evidence-based approaches to early intervention for eating disorders and progress is being made in scaling these. 

Conclusions: We propose action steps for the field that will transform eating disorder service provision and facilitate early detection, treatment and recovery for everyone affected by eating disorders, regardless of age, socioeconomic status and personal characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-334
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Issue number2
Early online date25 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • anorexia nervosa
  • bulimia nervosa
  • early intervention
  • eating disorders
  • mental health


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