Highly acclaimed course on eating disorders comes to KPU

Mon, Jul 7, 2014

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) has launched a highly tailored online course that increases the ability of working professionals to prevent and treat eating disorders, and reduce the likelihood of patient relapse after treatment.

Prevention & Recovery: Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating (PREDDE) is grounded in the application of eating disorder concepts that are profession-specific. The course was created for the many types of professionals who treat those with eating disorders, including people who work in hospital units treating critically ill patients or in residential treatment centres; mental health workers who offer services to outpatients and dieticians who help individuals establish long-term recovery plans.

The course - part of the university's continuing and professional studies programming - also offers a special track for the general public, including families and friends of those who suffer from eating disorders.

KPU's self-paced course is taught by Dr. Laird Birmingham, who has pioneered several internationally recognized treatments for eating disorders, and brings over 35 years of treatment experience to the course.

In addition to its relevance, PREDDE has received strong industry and professional backing, and is recognized as an accredited professional education course or activity by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association and the Canadian Nurses Association.

“Of women, one per cent will suffer from anorexia nervosa, three per cent bulimia nervosa, another three per cent binge eating disorder, 30 per cent obesity and most others will diet repeatedly. Many of these patients suffer from physical and psychological complications but won’t mention them because they have learned through experience that health care professionals won’t understand and will judge them,” said Dr. Birmingham. “If health care professionals have greater awareness of the complications and treatment, they can help. Students in this course will learn how to talk to obese people and people with anorexia or bulimia nervosa. You have to know what to say.”

PREDDE will include lectures and presentations created by Dr. Birmingham, available entirely online. Lessons focus on a variety of topics, including the roles of health care practitioners, how exercise relates to eating disorders, behavioural disorders and prevention. The course is further tailored to meet the specific needs of professionals that deal directly with those suffering from eating disorders and disordered eating, with individualized tracks for family doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, mental health workers, dieticians and chefs, physiotherapists and kinesiologists, pastors, researchers and the general public.

About the course
Prevention & Recovery: Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating is an entirely self-guided course offered through Continuing and Professional Studies at KPU. The department offers diverse programming to satisfy the needs of professionals, communities and lifelong learners. Students may register at any time and are given six months to complete the self-paced, online course. The course has been given 25 Maintenance of Credential credits by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. It costs $1,996. To register, visit: kpu.ca/cps.

Shallah Panjwani, Registered Dietician: “The PREDDE course taught by Dr. Birmingham gave me a comprehensive understanding clinically and epidemiologically of the meaning of eating disorders and disordered eating. This course has allowed me to open a private practice and specialize in the nutritional management and treatment of eating disorders. I strongly recommend this course to any health care professional looking to gain more expertise in the eating disorder and disordered eating arena.”

Jenny Maniacco, Registered Nurse: “My experience in taking Dr. Birmingham’s course has been profound in helping me develop my nursing skills, specific to this population. I continue to utilize the resources provided to help guide my practice. I particularly enjoyed the video components incorporated in the course material, as it gave me the sense of a classroom feel, was motivating and put a face to the name of this world-renowned expert.”

About Dr. Birmingham
Dr. Birmingham has treated people with eating disorders for over 35 years and has pioneered several new internationally recognized treatments for eating disorders. He is a Specialist in Internal Medicine, an Epidemiologist and Biostatistician, and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, where he was previously Professor of Medicine.

He was Medical Director of the St. Paul's Eating Disorder Program, British Columbia Provincial Director for Eating Disorders, and Leader of the BC Eating Disorders Epidemiology Project in the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences until 2008. He was then Medical Director of the Woodstone Residential Treatment Centre for Eating Disorders until December 2013.  Dr. Birmingham was Director of the Division of General Internal Medicine for St. Paul's Hospital and for the University of British Columbia, as well as Director of Postgraduate Medical Education for Medicine.  

He is a Member of the Brain Research Centre at UBC and Senior Associate Clinician Scientist at the Children & Family Research Institute. He is also Associate Editor of the European Journal of Obesity & Eating Disorders, Academic Associate Editor of BMC Psychiatry, and Editorial Board Member of Eating Disorders, The Journal of Treatment & Prevention.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Eating Disorders, Member of the Eating Disorders Research Society, was an author of the Australia and New Zealand Guidelines for Eating Disorders and was an invited reviewer of the American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients with Eating Disorders, Third Edition. He has more than 30 years of experience in eating disorder research and treatment and has published 124 refereed articles, 20 invited chapters and eight books.

Dr. Birmingham is presently doing research using the Loreta scan to image the brain of eating disorder patients and sees patients privately as the leader of the Dr. Birmingham & Associates eating disorder team. 

For more information, visit: www.drbirmingham.com.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at www.kpu.ca.


Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist, KPU
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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