Actionable research materials on the effects of eating disorders on pregnancy, birth and motherhood

King’s College London

This project was funded between April 2017 and June 2018.

  • Led by a team at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London.
  • Aimed to increase health care professionals’ knowledge and awareness about eating disorders during pregnancy, birth and motherhood, and enable appropriate identification, support and referral of women. 
  • Developed a short training animation and supporting online resources to educate GPs, midwives and health visitors on working with women with eating disorders. 

Research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London has shown that eating disorders during and after pregnancy, which can seriously affect the health of mothers and their babies, are difficult for health care professionals to identify without appropriate training.

This project translated this evidence into practice by developing training resources to educate GPs, midwives and health visitors on how to work with women with eating disorders. The aim was to increase knowledge and awareness of eating disorders, and ensure appropriate identification, support and referral of affected women.

Input from mothers with experience of eating disorders, health care professionals and key organisations was combined with information from evidence-based clinical guidelines to design a short training animation explaining the impact of eating disorders on pregnancy and motherhood. Online resources about supporting women with eating disorders, including case studies and specialist nutritional leaflets, were also developed. 

The short duration of the animation presented a challenge in terms of including practical skills reflecting a range of experiences and settings, which was addressed by making in-depth information sheets available on the project website. 

Training events, conferences, blogs, social media and press activities were used to raise awareness of the website and animation. Data on reach, acceptability and adoption are currently being evaluated, but initial feedback indicates that users found the resources engaging, useful and inspiring.

Several universities have already shared the project outputs with their midwifery and health visitor students, and further dissemination through online training platforms and health care professional training courses is planned. 

Contact details

Dr Abigail Easter, Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in Implementation Science, King’s College London, abigail.easter@kcl.ac.uk

About this programme

Programme

Evidence into Practice

This programme awarded £50,000 to eight research teams aiming to bridge the gap from academic research findings, to actionabl...

Opens Oct 2019

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