Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies


Background: Compared to the general population, dancers have a higher prevalence of eating disorders (EDs).6 This is due to a multitude of factors unique to the nature of dance that contribute to an increased pressure to be thin.5 Despite high prevalence of EDs in dancers and the general population, many individuals remain undiagnosed and untreated until serious medical complications occur.7-10

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to evaluate current ED screening methods and ask if high-risk populations, such as dancers, would benefit from ED screening.

Methods: A literature review was completed using GoogleScholar and Augsburg University digital library. The keywords for the selection of articles were: (dancers) AND (eating disorders) as well as (eating disorders) AND (current screening methods) AND (challenges). Studies excluded were articles inaccessible to the researchers and articles published before 2000. Ultimately, 33 articles were included in the paper. To support the literature review, a four question survey was conducted using GoogleForms. The purpose of the survey was to analyze if preventative ED screening would be beneficial for dancers. A link with the survey was sent to 100 dancers via email. Of the 100 dancers sent the survey, 41 responded.

Conclusions: After reviewing the literature, there are multiple highly sensitive and specific ED screening methods. However, limited ED training among primary care providers, ED diagnosis crossover, and barriers related to treatment seeking are challenges that contribute to low rates of ED detection. This review found a lack of research surrounding the benefits and harms of screening for EDs in high-risk populations which prompted a survey of dancers. Dancers unanimously indicated they would benefit from ED screening and 75.6% prefer screening to be conducted by a licensed medical provider at practice.


SC 11.PAS.2023.Noble.B