Deakin University

The perspectives and experiences of healthcare providers and carers of individuals experiencing eating disorder symptoms who are using or engaging with the new eating disorders (ED) Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items

Chief InvestigatorClosing Date
Genevieve Pepin19 Oct, 2023
Chief InvestigatorGenevieve Pepin
Closing Date19 Oct, 2023

About the research trial

In November 2019, new items were added to Medicare as part of the Eating Disorder Plan. This was designed to provide access to additional rebated treatment sessions for Australians with a serious and/or complex eating disorder. The Eating Disorder Plan covers up to 40 mental health sessions and up to 20 dietetic sessions within a 12-month period and consults to prepare the plan and review progress by general practitioners (GPs), psychiatrists, and paediatricians. To date, a full evaluation of whether Eating Disorder Plans have enhanced treatment availability and outcomes for individuals living with an eating disorder has not been done. This project is designed to address this gap. It is conducted by researchers at Deakin University, with researchers from other research institutions in Australia (Flinders University, LaTrobe University, Monash University, Western Sydney University), and is funded by the Department of Health & Aged Care.\
More specifically, we are interested in interviewing GPs, paediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, dietitians, occupational therapists, and social workers, carers of individuals who experience eating disorder symptoms, and people with lived experience of an eating disorder to better understand your experiences of using these new items, barriers, and enablers to these items’ uptake. This project has been approved by Deakin University Human Ethics Advisory Group Health (HEAG-H84_2023) and Human Research Ethics Committee (DUHREC 2023-113.)\
So far, people have talked about the difficulty accessing services and significant waiting lists, financial barriers to seeking treatment, the work needed to be completed by health care providers that is not covered by the items, challenges with the reviews and coordination with health care providers, difficulty understanding the plan, lack of knowledge about who can deliver the interventions under the plan, etc.\
Are your experiences similar? Different? We would like to hear from you!

Recruitment details

Purposive and snowball sampling will be used. Recruitment will be facilitated by third party and/or agencies who will distribute recruitment flyers and information about the study, as well as professional networks and through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Snowball sampling will be used to ensure that an adequate sample size is reached. Participants of the study will be invited to pass on information for the study to other people who may be interested and meet eligibility criteria for the research. In addition, as this study is part of a larger project, carers and health care professionals who will participate in earlier parts of the larger project will be invited to take part in this qualitative study.


Genevieve Pepin