Trends in US Patients Receiving Care for Eating Disorders and Other Common Behavioral Health Conditions Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic | Psychiatry and Behavioral Health | JN Learning | AMA Ed Hub [Skip to Content]
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Trends in US Patients Receiving Care for Eating Disorders and Other Common Behavioral Health Conditions Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

The lay press has reported an increase in eating disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic.1 We examined trends in health care for eating disorders from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2020, alongside other common behavioral health conditions among a large cohort of commercially insured individuals in the US.

This cohort study used deidentified data and was deemed exempt by the institutional review board group of UnitedHealth Group. We followed the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) reporting guidelines.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Accepted for Publication: September 22, 2021.

Published: November 16, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.34913

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2021 Asch DA et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: David A. Asch, MD, Center for Health Care Innovation, University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Civic Center Blvd, 14-171 PCAM South Tower, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (asch@wharton.upenn.edu).

Author Contributions: Mr Buresh had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Asch, Islam, Sheils, Doshi, Werner.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Buresh, Allison, Sheils, Doshi, Werner.

Drafting of the manuscript: Asch, Allison, Sheils.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.

Statistical analysis: Islam, Doshi, Werner.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Sheils.

Supervision: Sheils, Werner.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Allison reported receiving grants from Novo Nordisk Investigator Initiated Study outside the submitted work. Dr Sheils, Dr Islam, and Mr. Buresh own stock in UnitedHealth Group, which is the parent company of their employer Optum Labs, outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.

Additional Contributions: We thank Yong Chen, PhD (University of Pennsylvania), for useful comments made on the manuscript. Dr Chen was not compensated for his time.

References
1.
Damour  L. Eating disorders in teens have ‘exploded’ in the pandemic. The New York Times. Published April 28, 2021. Accessed October 15, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/28/well/family/teens-eating-disorders.html
2.
Zachary  Z , Brianna  F , Brianna  L ,  et al.  Self-quarantine and weight gain related risk factors during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Obes Res Clin Pract. 2020;14(3):210-216. doi:10.1016/j.orcp.2020.05.004PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Fernández-Aranda  F , Casas  M , Claes  L ,  et al.  COVID-19 and implications for eating disorders.   Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2020;28(3):239-245. doi:10.1002/erv.2738PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
Chenarides  L , Grebitus  C , Lusk  JL , Printezis  I .  Food consumption behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Agribusiness. 2021;37(1):44-81. doi:10.1002/agr.21679Google ScholarCrossref
5.
Simone  M , Emery  RL , Hazzard  VM , Eisenberg  ME , Larson  N , Neumark-Sztainer  D .  Disordered eating in a population-based sample of young adults during the COVID-19 outbreak.   Int J Eat Disord. 2021;54(7):1189-1201. doi:10.1002/eat.23505Google ScholarCrossref
6.
Castellini  G , Cassioli  E , Rossi  E ,  et al.  The impact of COVID-19 epidemic on eating disorders: a longitudinal observation of pre versus post psychopathological features in a sample of patients with eating disorders and a group of healthy controls.   Int J Eat Disord. 2020;53(11):1855-1862. doi:10.1002/eat.23368PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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