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Centre for Evidence-
Based Medicine

Diagnosis: Clinical Scenario

You have been approached by the local University Health Service. They have become very concerned about the numbers of students who present to the clinic with eating disorders during the first term of their courses. One of their main concerns is that the students present after they have already got behind in their course work.

This is a shame, because the health service has invested in lots of self-help materials and also has a whole team of trained cognitive-behavioural therapists waiting to treat eating disorders! They wonder if you have any suggestions about how they could screen their students to try and pick up cases earlier.

You form the clinical question: in female students, are there any screening tests that reliably pick up those students that have eating disorders?

You look through your issues of Evidence-Based Mental Health and find an abstract that appears helpful. You track down the full article (Journal of Counseling Psychology 44 63-79.)

Read the article and decide:

  1. Are the results of this diagnostic article valid?
  2. Are the valid results of this diagnostic study important?
  3. Can you apply this valid, important evidence about a diagnostic test in caring for your patient?

Continue to completed worksheet