Has the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown worsened eating disorders symptoms among patients with eating disorders? A systematic review

Yunqi Gao, Nasser Bagheri, Luis Furuya-Kanamori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: During the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, general medical complications have received the most attention, and few studies have examined the association between the COVID-19 lockdown and eating disorders (ED). This study aimed to investigate the impact of the coronavirus lockdowns on ED symptoms severity and summarize factors associated with lockdowns that led to changes in eating disorders. Method: PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for studies measuring the impact of coronavirus lockdowns on ED symptoms. Results: A total of 132 studies were retrieved, after abstract screening and removal of duplicates, 21 papers were full-text screened, and 11 eligible papers were identified. Factors associated with symptomatic deterioration in ED patients during COVID-19 lockdowns included disruption of lifestyle routine, social isolation, reduced access to usual support networks, limited or no access to healthcare and mental care services, and social anxiety. Discussion: Overall, the pandemic lockdowns were associated with worsening of eating disorders. This triggering environment can lead to increased anxiety and depression symptoms, change in dietary habits, and eventually result in worsening eating disorder symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Public Health
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Mar 2022

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