Nadia Micali's Group

The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on eating disorders: a clinical study

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown have been extraordinary, unique and unexpected events. Worldwide research has highlighted a severe negative impact of lockdown on child and adolescent mental health. In the field of the Eating Disorders (ED), the effects of COVID-19 lockdown have been mostly investigated in adult samples, and the evidence available on this matter is still insufficient and incongruous.
 
To our knowledge to date no studies have focused on the impact of lockdown on adolescents with feeding and eating disorders (FED). We were particularly interested in aspects that might contribute to resilience and about social/family and individual factors that might positively or negatively impact on FED symptomatology.
 
Therefore, in our study we aimed 1) to determine the effect of lockdown on FED symptoms in children and adolescents in treatment in our service; 2) to identify family and individual factors that might have contributed to improvement/worsening of symptoms during lockdown (i.e. family functioning, individual comorbid psychopathology, anxiety symptoms).
 
A survey was developed and sent to a clinical sample of 47 patients currently attending our specialist FED clinic for children and adolescents (AliNEA), at the Hopitaux Universitaires de Geneve (HUG).