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Unformatted text preview: Module 2 --- Article 7 TREATMENT HIGHLIGHTS AWARENESS AND USE OF PRO-EATING DISORDER INTERNET SITES The use of pro-eating disorder Web sites may be prevalent among adolescents with eating disorders, with many parents being unaware of their child’s use of these sites. This study examined the awareness and use of eating-disorder (ED) Web sites by adolescents with ED and their parents. Also examined was the impact of using these sites on health and quality of life. Questionnaires for anonymous completion were sent to 698 families of patients (aged 10 to 22) who had been diagnosed between 1997 and 2004 as having an eating disorder (identified via a children’s hospital chart review). 76 patients and 106 parents returned completed questionnaires. 72 of the 76 patients were female. Pro-ED sites had been visited (used) by 35.5% of the patients, yet only 10.5% of parents reported knowing that their child visited that type of site. 40.8% of the patients used pro-recovery sites, 25% used both pro-ED and pro-recovery sites, and 48.7% used neither. Among users of pro-ED sites, 70.8% reported that they used pro-ED sites to help maintain motivation for weight loss. New weight-loss or purging techniques were reportedly learned by almost all users of pro-ED sites and by almost half the users of pro-recovery sites. Although users and nonusers of pro-ED sites did not differ in their health outcomes, pro-ED site users were more likely (a) to report a decrease in time spent on schoolwork because of their eating disorder and (b) to have had the eating disorder for a longer duration (ie, 2 or more years). The authors note that “given the activities that their children are reporting adopting after visiting both pro-ED and pro-recovery sites, it is important to educate parents further on how to be constructively but actively involved in their children’s Internet use.” They conclude that, although this is a preliminary study with a low response rate, the results suggest that the use of pro-ED and/or pro-recovery sites “may lead some youth to adopt unhealthful dieting practices.”
Wilson JL, Peebles R, Hardy KK, & Litt IF. Surfing for thinness: A pilot study of pro-eating disorder Web site usage in adolescents with eating disorders. Pediatrics, 118:16351643, 2006. Support: Stanford University School of Medicine. ©Copyright 2011 MWK Publishing LLC; from The Complete Practitioner: Mental Health Applications (Vol. 10, No. 1 -- January 2007) ...
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- Spring '09