COVID-19 Latest information

COVID-19 Latest information

COVID-19, also referred to as coronavirus, is an infectious disease causing a current global pandemic. NEDC and our partners are working to support the eating disorder community in accessing accurate and timely information, particularly as it relates to the experience and treatment of eating disorders at this time.

The NEDC contributed to the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan, which was released on 15 May with the unanimous support of the National Cabinet. It is available for download from the National Mental Health Commission’s website.

As the national experience of and response to COVID-19 continues to unfold, NEDC will continue to share useful information about COVID-19 for the eating disorder community both here and on social media. Please see a list of curated links below, and check back regularly.


Changes to COVID-19 Temporary MBS Telehealth Services: July 2021: New, continuing and discontinued telephone items for GPs and Other Medical Practitioners.

Commencing 13 March 2020 and extending until 31 December 2021, the Australian Government has made a number of temporary MBS telehealth (video and telephone) items available to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and provide protection for patients and health care providers.

From 1 July 2021, General Practitioner (GP) and Other Medical Practitioner telephone items will be streamlined. This change aligns with how the items are being used by providers and is also based on expert advice about the use of telephone-based services.

No changes to face-to-face items or telehealth items delivered via videoconference have been made.

Click here to access a fact sheet produced by NEDC containing information about the new, continuing and discontinued telephone items from 1 July 2021, which may be relevant to GPs and Other Medical Practitioners providing services via telephone to patients experiencing an eating disorder. 

Information for people with lived experience and their supports

Advice for athletes, NEDC-AIS partnership

Advice for people with an eating disorder and their loved ones, InsideOut

COVID-19 and eating disorders information from Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV)

Tips and advice for people with an eating disorder from the Butterfly Foundation

COVID-19 support from the Department of Health

Information updates from Eating Disorders Queensland (EDQ)

Tips and advice from BEAT UK

Information for health and other helping professionals

Advice for coaches and performance support staff, NEDC-AIS partnership

Useful advice for eating disorder clinicians from ANZAED

Key resources for primary care practictioners and mental health services and clinicians from The Victorian Centre of Excellence in Eating Disorders (CEED)

A practical guide to setting up your practice to deliver telehealth services from Mental Health Online

30-minute online training module for health care workers from the Australian Government Department of Health

Further reading

Baenas, I., Caravaca‐Sanz, E., Granero, R., Sánchez, I., Riesco, N., Testa, G., ... & Fernández‐Aranda, F. (2020). COVID‐19 and eating disorders during confinement: Analysis of factors associated with resilience and aggravation of symptoms. European Eating Disorders Review, 28(6), 855-863.

Brooks, S. K., Webster, R. K., Smith, L. E., Woodland, L., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N., & Rubin, G. J. (2020). The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. The Lancet, 395(10227), 912-920.

Castellini, G., Cassioli, E., Rossi, E., Innocenti, M., Gironi, V., Sanfilippo, G., Felciai, F., Monteleone, A. M., & Ricca, V. (2020). The impact of COVID‐19 epidemic on eating disorders: A longitudinal observation of pre versus post psychopathological features in a sample of patients with eating disorders and a group of healthy controls. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53(11), 1855-1862.

Clark Bryan, D., Macdonald, P., Ambwani, S., Cardi, V., Rowlands, K., Willmott, D., & Treasure, J. (2020). Exploring the ways in which COVID‐19 and lockdown has affected the lives of adult patients with anorexia nervosa and their carers. European Eating Disorders Review, 28(6), 826-835.

Cooper, M., Reilly, E. E., Siegel, J. A., Coniglio, K., Sadeh-Sharvit, S., Pisetsky, E., & Anderson, L. (2020). Eating disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic: An overview of risks and recommendations for treatment and early intervention. Eating Disorders. Advance online publication.

Feinmann, J. (2021). Eating disorders during the covid-19 pandemic. bmj374.

Graell, M., Morón‐Nozaleda, M. G., Camarneiro, R., Villaseñor, Á., Yáñez, S., Muñoz, R., ... & Faya, M. (2020). Children and adolescents with eating disorders during COVID‐19 confinement: Difficulties and future challenges. European Eating Disorders Review, 28(6), 864-870.

Haripersad, Y. V., Kannegiesser-Bailey, M., Morton, K., Skeldon, S., Shipton, N., Edwards, K., ... & Martin, A. C. (2020). Outbreak of anorexia nervosa admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 0(1).

Jones, P. D., Gentin, A., Clarke, J., & Arakkakunnel, J. (2020). Eating disorders double and acute respiratory infections tumble in hospitalised children during the 2020 COVID shutdown on the Gold Coast. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Keel, P. K., Gomez, M. M., Harris, L., Kennedy, G. A., Ribeiro, J., & Joiner, T. E. (2020). Gaining "The Quarantine 15:" Perceived versus observed weight changes in college students in the wake of COVID-19. International Journal of Eating Disorders53(11), 1801–1808.

McCombie, C., Austin, A., Dalton, B., Lawrence, V., & Schmidt, U. (2020). “Now It's Just Old Habits and Misery”–Understanding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people with current or life-time eating disorders: a qualitative study. Frontiers in Psychiatry11, 589225.

Matheson, B. E., Bohon, C., & Lock, J. (2020). Family‐based treatment via videoconference: Clinical recommendations for treatment providers during COVID‐19 and beyond. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53(7), 1142-1154.

Papandreou, C., Arija, V., Aretouli, E., Tsilidis, K. K., & Bulló, M. (2020). Comparing eating behaviours, and symptoms of depression and anxiety between Spain and Greece during the COVID‐19 outbreak: Cross‐sectional analysis of two different confinement strategies. European Eating Disorders Review, 28(6), 836-846.

Phillipou, A., Meyer, D., Neill, E., Tan, E. J., Toh, W. L., Van Rheenen, T. E., & Rossell, S. L. (2020). Eating and exercise behaviors in eating disorders and the general population during the COVID‐19 pandemic in Australia: Initial results from the COLLATE project. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53(7), 1158-1165.

Rodgers, R. F., Lombardo, C., Cerolini, S., Franko, D. L., Omori, M., Fuller‐Tyszkiewicz, M., ... & Guillaume, S. (2020). The impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic on eating disorder risk and symptoms. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53(7), 1166-1170.

Sansom-Daly, U. M., Wakefield, C. E., McGill, B. C., Wilson, H. L., & Patterson, P. (2016). Consensus among international ethical guidelines for the provision of videoconferencing-based mental health treatments. JMIR Mental Health3(2), e17.

Scharmer, C., Martinez, K., Gorrell, S., Reilly, E. E., Donahue, J. M., & Anderson, D. A. (2020). Eating disorder pathology and compulsive exercise during the COVID‐19 public health emergency: Examining risk associated with COVID‐19 anxiety and intolerance of uncertainty. International Journal of Eating Disorders. Advance online publication.

Simpson, S. G., & Reid, C. L. (2014). Therapeutic alliance in videoconferencing psychotherapy: A review. Australian Journal of Rural Health22(6), 280-299.

Smith, K., Ostinelli, E., Macdonald, O., & Cipriani, A. (2020). COVID-19 and Telepsychiatry: development of evidence-based guidance for clinicians. JMIR Mental Health7(8), e21108.

Smith, A. C., Thomas, E., Snoswell, C. L., Haydon, H., Mehrotra, A., Clemensen, J., & Caffery, L. J. (2020). Telehealth for global emergencies: Implications for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare26(5), 309–313.

Taylor, C. B., Fitzsimmons‐Craft, E. E., & Graham, A. K. (2020). Digital technology can revolutionize mental health services delivery: The COVID‐19 crisis as a catalyst for change. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53(7), 1155-1157.

Vitagliano, J. A., Jhe, G., Milliren, C. E., Lin, J. A., Spigel, R., Freizinger, M., ... & Richmond, T. K. (2021). COVID-19 and eating disorder and mental health concerns in patients with eating disorders. Journal of eating disorders9(1), 1-8. 

Waller, G., Pugh, M., Mulkens, S., Moore, E., Mountford, V. A., Carter, J., ... & Farrell, N. R. (2020). Cognitive‐behavioral therapy in the time of coronavirus: Clinician tips for working with eating disorders via telehealth when face‐to‐face meetings are not possible. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53(7), 1132-1141.

Weissman, R. S., Klump, K. L., & Rose, J. (2020). Conducting eating disorders research in the time of COVID‐19: A survey of researchers in the field. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53(7), 1171-1181.

Zhou, X., Snoswell, C. L., Harding, L. E., Bambling, M., Edirippulige, S., Bai, X., & Smith, A. C. (2020). The role of telehealth in reducing the mental health burden from COVID-19. Telemedicine and e-Health, 26(4), 377-379.


Anyone needing support or information can contact the Butterfly National Helpline 1800 33 4673


Help us improve!

Give us feedback!

We will continue throughout 2020 to update and improve the NEDC website and welcome any feedback you may have on the site.

Provide feedback