The recruitment and acceptability of a project ECHO® eating disorders clinic: a pilot study of telementoring for primary medical and behavioral health care practitioners

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Early identification and intervention are critical to prevent physical and mental health complications, chronicity, and premature death associated with eating disorders. However, primary medical and behavioral health care clinicians often do not feel confident or competent to diagnose and manage patients with eating disorders. This pilot study describes an innovative telementoring project (Project ECHO® Eating Disorders) that builds a geographically defined collaborative learning community to bridge the knowledge gap between eating disorder specialists located in eating disorder service sites and community-based practitioners, often living in remote areas. We describe the program and recruitment strategies and review baseline participant evaluation findings. Continuing Medical Education (CME) evaluation findings are presented as a measure of practitioner acceptability and satisfaction. Content analysis of CME participant evaluation comments provides an understanding of the impact of the program on participant knowledge and intended practice changes. We end with implications for training, practice, and research.