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Background: Eating disorders (ED) are mental and physical illnesses that affect an individual globally, disrupting their ability to function and participate in daily life.

Objectives: The objective of this capstone project was to conduct a scoping review of the literature to define the role of OT in the treatment of clients with ED.

Methods: A database search was performed using the following electronic databases: CINAHL Complete, Medline, APA PsycInfo, and OpenDissertations, using the search terms “occupational therapist or occupational therapy” and “eating disorders or anorexia nervosa or bulimia or disordered eating”. Articles were screened and reviewed for the following inclusion criteria: (a) addresses OT intervention; (b) intervention must be for clients with ED; (c) must be published in the English language; (d) must have been published between the years (2000-2021); (e) must be available in full text; (f) must be from a refereed journal. Data was extracted and charted using tables to identify themes through data analysis according to the OT process.

Results: The behaviors of OT practitioners were variable, with sparse evidence-base. Evaluations and assessments were client-centered and collaborative. The most common interventions included occupation-based meal cookery groups, and education and training throughout occupational interventions.

Conclusion: This scoping review organized the current OT literature to define a role for OT practitioners with the ED population. Implications for future research include similar meal cookery studies completed with a larger sample size, screening of cognition and attention, consideration of family/caregiver perspectives and goals during evaluation, needs assessment/research tailored to the adolescent population, and research using The Role Checklist outcomes in greater detail.

Publication Date

Summer 8-12-2021


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Medical Subject Headings

Occupational Therapy, Feeding and Eating Disorders, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Review


Occupational Therapy


Poster presented at the Summer 2021 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences held online on August 12, 2021.

The Role of OT with Individuals Living with Eating Disorders: A Scoping Review