Portland, OR (PRWEB) August 7, 2009
A new and innovative diagnostic tool designed to help pediatricians identify and rate the severity of eating disorder symptoms in children and adolescents has been pioneered by the Kartini Clinic for Disordered Eating, in Portland, Oregon, the Pacific NW's leading pediatric eating disorder practice.
The Rating of Eating Disorder Severity in Children, or REDS-C, is a semi-structured diagnostic interview originally developed by Dr. Eliot Goldner of the University of British Columbia, and adapted for use with children by Dr. Julie O'Toole, founder and medical director at Kartini Clinic. The diagnostic interview is used by pediatricians at Kartini Clinic as part of the admission process, to make more timely and accurate diagnoses of eating disorders in children.
"Pediatricians rely heavily on patients and their parents to tell them what is wrong. If parents lack knowledge about the signs of eating disorders or if they are in denial about the seriousness of their child's problems, then the doctor might miss certain vital clues to the health of a child. Detecting the vital clues of an eating disorder is what the REDS-C diagnostic tool is intended to do," explains Dr. O'Toole.
Based on the successful use of the REDS-C to detect eating disorder symptoms and rate symptom severity in over 1500 young people since 1998, Dr. O'Toole and the Kartini Clinic were invited to present REDS-C data at an international conference sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health in March 2009. The purpose of this international conference was to develop and recommend criteria for recognizing eating disorders in children and adolescents. Kartini Clinic was selected for participation in this distinguished conference because of its specialization in diagnosing and treating young children with eating disorders and Kartini Clinic's reputation for successfully treating children and adolescents with the most severe and treatment resistant disorders.
Researchers from Kartini Clinic, the University of Rochester, and the University of North Dakota continue to study the REDS-C. According to Dr. DeSocio, researcher from the University of Rochester, "The REDS-C is a valuable tool because it allows clinicians to rate the severity of eating disorder symptoms on 16 dimensions. The child's score on individual items allows the clinician to distinguish the type of eating disorder a child has and the severity of the child's illness. Clinicians can use these findings to make decisions about the best treatment for the child. The REDS-C is also a useful tool to evaluate change in the child's symptoms as a result of treatment. These unique features of the REDS-C make a much needed contribution to the treatment of our youngest patients with these devastating disorders."
Dr. O'Toole reflects on the value of the REDS-C in her years of clinical experience with children: "We believe that early intervention in children, especially for anorexia nervosa, can greatly improve prognosis and lead to higher rates of successful treatment and lasting recovery. Any diagnostic tool that can assist in catching this illness in its earliest stages has the potential to improve treatment outcomes significantly."
Results of research on the REDS-C are currently being reviewed for publication in a peer-reviewed professional journal.
About Kartini Clinic:
The Kartini Clinic for Disordered Eating in Portland, Oregon was founded in 1998 by Dr. Julie O'Toole in the knowledge that parents don't cause eating disorders and children don't choose to have them. Kartini Clinic serves children and young adults, aged 6 to 22, with all forms of disordered eating. For a free consultation with our intake coordinator, please call 503 249 8851, or visit our web site at kartiniclinic.com.