Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Stephen Chris

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


An assessment of service needs and resource availability for clients with the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia was conducted in the Waterloo region, located in southwestern Ontario, in order to ascertain the number of individuals in the region who currently suffer from the disorders but for various reasons have not sought treatment. In addition, the assessment examined the availability of specialized services for this client population, the sufficiency of extant services in relation to estimated service needs, and the degree of inter-agency networking in treating eating disorders. A variety of needs/resource assessment techniques were utilized including the social indicators approach, key informant interviews, a mail survey of community professionals, and a telephone survey of individuals afflicted with the disorders. In order to facilitate utilization of the results of the assessment a networking/health education conference was arranged at which the preliminary results of the assessment were presented and delegates were invited to become part of the task force which would utilize the results of the assessment to improve services for clients with eating disorders in the region. The results of the needs/resource assessment suggested that there were a large number of individuals in the region who currently suffer from an eating disorder but have not sought treatment. In addition, several specialized services for the treatment of these disorders were found to be absent and the extant services insufficient in relation to estimated service needs. Finally, the assessment indicated a lack of professional and agency networking in treating these disorders. Apart from facilitating the utilization of the results of the assessment through the development of a task force, the networking/health education conference also facilitated the education of community professionals and encouraged networking of services. Presently the task force consists of twelve committed individuals, including professionals from a wide range of disciplines and two recovered bulimics. The groups is currently in the process of applying for funding and seeking sponsorship for an eating disorders resource center in the region which would encourage those afflicted with the disorders to seek treatment, provide referrals to professionals who are capable of treating the disorders, provide self help groups for sufferers, facilitate networking of services and the education of community professionals, and employ preventative/educational interventions in the region.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season