Herman BK, Deal LS, Kando JC, DiBenedetti DB, Nelson L, Fehnel SE, Brown TM. The use and value of the 7-item binge eating disorder screener in clinical practice. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2017 Jun;19(3):16m02075.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate physician knowledge of and attitudes about binge eating disorder (BED) and the value and ease-of-use of the 7-Item Binge Eating Disorder Screener (BEDS-7) in clinical practice.

METHODS: Two internet surveys (wave 1 [April 15–May 6, 2015]; wave 2 [August 19–25, 2015]) were administered to general practitioners (GPs) and psychiatrists. Wave 1 invitees were US-based physicians spending =50% of their time in direct patient care and reporting “no” to “some to average” experience with eating disorder patients. Respondents completing wave 1 qualified for wave 2.

RESULTS: Of 973 physicians who completed screening, 660 (67.8%) met all screening criteria and continued to the survey. 122 GPs and 123 psychiatrists completed both waves. Physician groups spent similar mean ± SD amounts of time providing direct patient care (GPs: 94.66±8.4%; psychiatrists: 91.15±12.2%) Based on composite scores, BED knowledge increased from wave 1 to wave 2 in GPs (P<0.001) and psychiatrists (P<0.05). Composite scores pertaining to knowledge of and comfort with diagnosing and treating BED were lower for GPs than psychiatrists in both waves (all P<0.001). Based on wave 2 responses, the BEDS-7 was used by 32.0% of GPs and 26.8% of psychiatrists. All BEDS-7 users (100%) indicated the screener was “very” or “somewhat” valuable and nearly all users (psychiatrists, 100%; GPs, 97.6%) reported it was “very” or “reasonably” easy to use. BEDS-7 users reported that important uses of the screener included assisting clinicians in identifying BED patients and encouraging/initiating doctor-patient discussions about BED.

CONCLUSIONS: These results support the utility of the BEDS-7 in clinical practice, with BEDS-7 users reporting that it is a highly valued and easy-to-use screener. Furthermore, both GPs and psychiatrists acknowledged the importance of being knowledgeable about BED.

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