Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Tonia Marine

Second Advisor

Lynda Kendall

Third Advisor

Valerie Gager

Abstract

A review of the epidemiology, etiology, treatment and prevention of bulimia, a review of nursing process as it relates to bulimia, and the identification of a screening tool to assess bulimia is important to identify and destigmatize this life-threatening condition. An individual who has bulimia is defined by the American Psychological Association (1994) as an individual who exhibits recurrent episodes of binge eating, who engages in inappropriate behavior to avoid weight gain. The bulimic individual is commonly overly concerned with body shape and weight. The definitive etiology of bulimia is unknown, bur is thought to be either psychological, familial, sociolcultural, or biological. Nurses can have an important role in the identification and treatment of bulimia. Nursing Process is a valuable tool that can be used to identify and treat bulimia. Through education of individuals susceptible to bulimia, education of people in the best positions to identify bulimia early, and education of the general public, bulimia can be identified sooner with less permanent consequences to the individuals who suffer from bulimia. An integrated assessment tool, such as the tool attached, can be used to help identify individuals that are suspected to be bulimic. Above all, when assessing an individual who is suspected to be bulimic, a nonjudgmental attitude should be employed at all times by all nurses.

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