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Implementing Screening for Eating Disorders in Adolescents and Young Adults with a History of Cancer
  • Aarti Kamat,
  • Jessica Van Huysse,
  • Emily Walling
Aarti Kamat
University of Michigan Hospital

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Jessica Van Huysse
University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry
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Emily Walling
University of Michigan Hospital
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Background Eating disorders are prevalent in the adolescent and young adult population, with 2.7% of adolescents effected. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends yearly screening for eating disorders in adolescents. Even with this recommendation, eating disorders often go underdiagnosed. AYAs with cancer possess several risk factors for eating disorders that may place them at an even higher risk, including receiving weight-altering therapies and having their weight/nutrition emphasized. Since these patients see their oncology team frequently, oncology clinics are opportune settings for eating disorder screening. This describes a single-institution study to implement screening for eating disorders in AYA patients in an oncology clinic. Procedures During regularly scheduled oncology visits, eligible patients were given the SCOFF questionnaire. Patients with an oncologic diagnosis aged 13 and older were screened. Patients with known eating disorders and patients receiving cytotoxic therapy were excluded. The questionnaire was scored by a study team member. Patients with a positive screening were referred to adolescent medicine. Results 163 eligible patients filled out the SCOFF questionnaire with 11 positive results (6.75%). Conclusions Our results demonstrate that eating disorder screening was successfully implemented in our pediatric oncology clinic. With a rate more than double than the general population, we observed that AYA patients with a history of cancer are indeed at a higher risk for eating disorders and should undergo routine screening. Since these patients have frequent oncology appointments, oncology clinics should implement screening for eating disorders. Further studies are needed to develop appropriate screening methods for on therapy patients.