Ongoing

Disordered eating in indigenous communities: a consumer-driven co-production of a learning module for health professionals

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Ongoing

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Disordered eating in indigenous communities: a consumer-driven co-production of a learning module for health professionals

The project involves the development of a credentialled course in partnership with the Butterfly Foundation for clinicians to upskill and learn more about Indigenous communities and eating disorders, contributing to a more culturally proficient practice.

Indigenous people are at higher risk of developing eating disorders due to higher levels of psychological distress and lower mental health quality of life. Indigenous people score higher on measures of overvaluation, night feeding, and body image concerns compared to non-Indigenous populations. Although Indigenous people are at higher risk of having an eating disorder, Indigenous people are not being screened or diagnosed for eating disorders due to comorbid health issues, an absence of culturally valid screening measures and a lack of clinical knowledge on EDs within Indigenous communities. There are no standards of culturally proficient ED practice for working with Indigenous people who are experiencing eating disorders or body image concerns.

Community consultation with the staff of 23 Aboriginal Medical Services in 2022 highlighted a lack of knowledge on EDs and cultural proficiency among health practitioners. Consultation identified a need for further assistance to access services and educational resources for their staff and communities. The current project is developing a credentialled course in partnership with the Butterfly Foundation for clinicians to upskill and learn more about Indigenous communities and eating disorders, contributing to a more culturally proficient practice.

Credentialing will enable health professionals to identify a person with an eating disorder and enhances the effectiveness and consistency of treatment, increasing the chance of intervention.