eISSN: 2449-8580
ISSN: 1734-3402
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review
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2/2021
vol. 23
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Eating disorders in university students in Lodz, the role of a family physician

Małgorzata Koziarska-Rościszewska
1
,
Maria Dobielska
2
,
Marzena Ocetek
2
,
Patrycja Iwan
3
,
Praveen Malik
4
,
Adam Jóźwik
5
,
Jacek Rysz
1

1.
Nephrology, Hypertension and Family Medicine Department, Medical University of Lodz, Poland
2.
Students’ Scientific Association of Family Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, Poland
3.
Internal Medicine Department, Main-Spessart Clinic, Marktheidenfeld/Lohr, Germany
4.
School of Professional Studies (SPS), Clark University, Lodz, Poland
5.
Faculty of Physics and Applied Informatics, University of Lodz, Poland
Fam Med Prim Care Rev 2021; 23(2): 179–184
Online publish date: 2021/07/06
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Introduction
Eating disorders (EDs) seem to be a serious health problem in contemporary Polish society. Family Physicians (FPs) have a vital and pivotal role to play in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of EDs. To determine the prevalence of EDs among students in Lodz – one of the biggest university centers in Poland; the main causes and triggers of EDs and the role of an FP.

Material and methods
A voluntary anonymous questionnaire concerning ED prevalence, attitude to ED treatment and potential risk factors, including family relations, was distributed on facebook.com via private groups dedicated only to students from leading universities in Lodz (Poland). 651 answers from students 18–46 year of age were collected. The data was analyzed mainly using the chi-square test with Yates correction.

Results
The research revealed: overall ED prevalence 7.4%; EDs in females 9.5% and 2.5% in males (p = 0.003). ED students more often indicated an unhealthy parent-child relationship as a risk factor (p < 0.001). 49% of students thought that an FP could help with EDs.

Conclusions
Family dysfunction, peer opinions and the influence of social media are major factors and triggers leading to EDs. FPs could play an important role, as they are well situated among other health professionals, are highly approachable by the local population and may have a unique insight into a patient’s condition. Further education and training of FPs and the revision of appropriate guidelines for the management of patients with EDs are essential.

keywords:

general practitioners, anorexia, feeding and eating disorders, students, community medicine, family physicians

 
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