Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Eating Disorders


Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa have become more prevalent among young people in our society. This rising pursuit of thinness can be attributed, in part, to our society's idealistic view of beauty and appeal, in addition to several other causal factors. Adolescents and young adults struggle to meet the unrealistic demands of society, often resorting to potentially fatal behaviors such as starvation, binging, and purging. These disorders often present with identifiable signs and symptoms. As health professionals, we must be prepared to identify these characteristic signs and symptoms in order to identify patients who are at risk for developing serious medical complications as a result of these extreme behaviors. As physical therapists, we must also be able to adjust exercise programs for these patients who have compromised medical states. Literature in the area of treatment adaptation is limited, which presents itself as a need for future research and reinforces the need for this study. Finally, we must be adequately informed to provide appropriate community resources to our patients.

The purpose of this study is to examine the clinical picture associated with eating disorders, causal factors involved in the onset of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, treatment of eating disorders and the associated prognosis, and the relevance of eating disorders to the health professional, with an emphasis on adapting exercise programs for patients with eating disorders. The procedure to be used for this study is a review of the literature. The expected result of this study is to provide health care professionals with information about anorexia and bulimia, specifically regarding treatment adaptation.