VIVA! Communications is thrilled to see InsideOut Institute for Eating Disorders has been awarded $3.67 million today (Monday, June 3, 2019) from the Million Minds Research Mission to develop a health system research centre.
The centre will monitor early detection and treatment of eating disorders across the national health system, and design new methods to ensure early treatment in mainstream health settings.
The trail blazing Institute, launched in April 2018, will lead the project to deliver a newly established Centre for Health System Research and Translation in Eating Disorders based at the University of Sydney.
The project brings together a range of leading experts in the field, including Professor Stephen Touyz from the University’s School of Psychology, Professor Natasha Nassar from the Charles Perkins Centre, Professor Ian Hickie from the Brain and Mind Centre, Professor Warren Ward from Queensland Health, Ms Claire Diffey from the Victorian Centre of Excellence in Eating Disorders, as well as National and Primary headspace Health Networks.
The Centre will have four key strategies, including ongoing nationwide data collection, a national lived experience survey, and the development of new, scalable models of care for health settings where young people present, that focus on early detection and treatment.
InsideOut Director Dr Sarah Maguire explains why the work they do is so essential and important to Australians living with eating disorders.
“At the moment there is no way of tracking early identification, or any stage of identification actually, in the system. Eating disorders have an unacceptably high death rate but can be cured. There is an imperative to identify early and get treatment that works to people early.
“At the moment, none of the different health system data systems talk to each other, hospital data does not talk to community which does not talk to GPs or headspace – what this means is we cannot track what happens to a person when they present to the health system, let alone whether it works,” said Dr Maguire.
“This centre will form the foundation of quality care. If we know when people are and are not being detected and treated we can design new systems and interventions to ensure quality.
Dr Maguire believes there has historically been an under-investment in clinical care and research with eating disorders having had the lowest research dollar spend of all the major metal illnesses.
“But without rigorous evaluation there is a risk these investments will not lead to the improvements in health outcomes they are intended to deliver. This research centre will monitor how well these investments work when they hit the system.
“All available evidence suggests that the single most important thing we can do to reduce the personal and social burden of eating disorders is intervene early,” Dr Maguire said.
To find out more about the InsideOut Institute, and the invaluable work they do, visit their website: https://insideoutinstitute.org.au
If you, or someone you know, may be living with an eating disorder, please contact your GP or the National Eating Disorders Helpline – 1800 33 4673.