Pandemic Prompts Spike in Eating Disorder Hospitalization for Adolescents
Hospital admission for children with eating disorders approximately tripled during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on data from 85 patients. Eating disorders are common among adolescents and often require hospital admission for nutritional restoration, according to May Shum of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., and colleagues. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the volume of hospital admissions for adolescents with eating disorders has increased, the researchers wrote in a poster presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies. This increase may be driven both by interruptions in medical care and increased psychological distress, but data on changes in patient characteristics and hospitalization course are lacking, they said.
@anwesha The number of patients for whom psychotropic medications were initiated or changed increased significantly (12.5% vs. 28.3%, P = .04); as did the proportion of patients discharged to partial hospitalization, residential, or inpatient psychiatric treatment rather than discharged home with outpatient therapy (56.2% vs. 75.0%, P = .04). No significant differences were noted in demographics, comorbidities, admission parameters, EKG abnormalities, electrolyte repletion, or tube feeding. The study findings were limited by the use of data from a single center. However, the results suggest an increase in severity of hospital admissions that have implications for use of hospital resources, the researchers said.