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Eating disorders (EDs) are common amongst athletes, yet few receive treatment. Given that athletes have a unique set of risk factors for eating disorders and are faced with additional barriers to treatment, new models outside of face-to-face treatment are necessary to reach the population and provide more affordable, tailored, evidence-based care. One solution is to use digital mental health programs to provide primary or supplemental therapy. Digital programs can provide accessibility and privacy, and recent advancements allow for more personalized online experiences. However, there have been no studies to date that integrate technology-based tools to address the especially high prevalence rates of EDs in athletes. This paper describes how an integrated model that includes online screening linked to guided self-help programs, all adapted specifically for athletes, can be used to provide prevention and intervention of EDs in athletes.
Flatt is with the Dept. of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. Taylor is with the Dept. of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA; and also with the Center for m2Health, Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, CA.