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Restrictive eating disorders in children and young people: the role of the paediatrician and paediatric ward
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  • Published on:
    Paediatric nurse support and supervision is critical

    I am sure many readers will support Chapman et al’s call to action around the need for greater confidence with, and involvement in, the treatment of very low weight eating-disordered states by paediatricians on paediatric wards. Since the article’s publication, many eating disorders resources have been made available, free of charge, which should help with this upskilling project.

    However, if increasing paediatrician skill and confidence is to translate into greater acceptance of the presence of this group of young people on paediatric wards, the whole hospital paediatric workforce will need to feel more comfortable with treating very low weight eating-restriction. I am thinking here of the nurses and healthcare assistants who spend so much more time with this group of inpatients. And I am also thinking of the ward dietician.

    As Chapman et al note, paediatricians have a vital role with psycho-education, in regularly reviewing the child or young person’s physical state, and in making treatment decisions based on this. However, they do not spend sustained periods of time each day at the bedside. They do not have to tolerate - for such long periods - the powerful emotional ‘projections’ that accompany each mealtime or each ng insertion ie the spoken-aloud emotional statements, as well as the belly ‘vibes’ (feelings) that one person can generate in another. It is this aspect of the daily care of children and young people in dangerous states of eating-disordered...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.