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TUESDAY, March 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that current evidence is insufficient to make a recommendation for or against screening for eating disorders. These findings form the basis of a final recommendation statement, published in the March 15 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

Cynthia Feltner, MD, MPH, of RTI International-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Evidence-based Practice Center in Research Triangle Park, and her colleagues reviewed the evidence on screening for eating disorders in adolescents and the adults. Data were included from 57 studies, with 10,773 participants; three studies (1073 participants) were limited to adolescents. The researchers found that none of the studies directly assessed the benefits or harms of screening. Seventeen studies examined the accuracy of screening tests. The SCOFF questionnaire had a pooled sensitivity and specificity of 84 and 80%, respectively, in adults. Interventions for eating disorders have been evaluated in 40 randomized controlled trials; none enrolled a population detected by screening. Reductions in binge eating symptom severity were greater with lisdexamfetamine or topiramate compared to placebo, but adverse event rates were higher.

Based on these results, the USPSTF concluded that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance between the benefits and harms of screening for eating disorders (statement I).

“There is insufficient evidence on the potential benefits and harms of screening for eating disorders, especially in the primary care setting with people who do not have signs, symptoms or concerns” , USPSTF Vice President Carol Mangione, MD, MSPH, said in a statement.

An author of the evidence review disclosed financial ties to Equip Health.

evidence report

Final recommendation statement

Editorial 1

Editorial 2