Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects
COVID-19 and Eating Disorders: How COVID-19 Increased the Prevalence and Severity of Eating Disorders, and the Lasting Implications
School of Nursing
COVID-19 brought on a whirlwind of changes that were impossible to have foreseen. The impacts on individuals have left lasting impressions, the natures of which continue to be unearthed even now- 4 years later. This thesis will outline the impacts of COVID-19 on those suffering from eating disorders and disordered eating habits, as well as ideas for how to support and care for these individuals through their continued hardships which have been set in motion by the pandemic.
The research conducted on this topic utilized peer reviewed articles found through databases such as CINAHL, PubMed, and Cochrane Library. The findings indicate the various effects of COVID-19 on eating disorders such as increased isolation, decreased access to care, and food shortages. These are just a few examples of the areas that majorly impacted eating disorder development and recovery. For individuals recovering from eating disorders, routine and comfort are vital in the rehabilitation process and so any occurrence that impacts the care of the patient can be detrimental to recovery (Baenas, 2020). Through identifying the specific effects of these challenges, goals for improvement are identified. For example, utilizing telehealth and socially distanced meetings with healthcare providers are ways to tackle the issues related to access to care.
The research conducted found that eating disorder severity and prevalence were both increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased social isolation, increased social media use, and toxic stress levels all contributed to disordered eating habits and the development of eating disorders. The future of eating disorder treatment has been impacted greatly, as the effects of COVID-19 on treatment and care for individuals with eating disorders has been shown to be majorly flawed. Improvement of the systems responsible for the care and keeping of these individuals is vital to the future of effective eating disorder treatment, screening, and prevention.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Miranda Peterson, DNP
Nursing | Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Rogers, Lucy, "COVID-19 and Eating Disorders: How COVID-19 Increased the Prevalence and Severity of Eating Disorders, and the Lasting Implications" (2023). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 997.