It’s raining men: descriptive results for engaging men with eating disorders in a specialized male assessment and treatment track (MATT)

  • Brad A. MacNeilEmail author
  • Chloe C. Hudson
  • Pauline Leung
Original Article



Men with eating disorders are not well understood and there is a need for innovative methods for engaging men in specialized outpatient assessment and treatment. We examined data collected over a 4-year period to explore whether the addition of a designated track for men at a hospital-based adult eating disorders program influenced the number of referrals or treatment engagement.


During assessment and treatment as usual (ATAU; September 2013–August 2015), 283 referrals were received (275 women, 8 men), with 3 men engaging in assessment and treatment (Mage = 36 years, SD = 14.18). After instatement of a male assessment and treatment track (MATT; September 2015–August 2017), 320 referrals were received (300 women, 20 men), with 14 men engaging in the specialized assessment and treatment (Mage = 28.21 years, SD = 8.04). Both groups of men completed measures of demographic characteristics, life satisfaction, depressive and anxiety symptoms, and eating disorder symptoms.


Significantly more referrals for men, but not women, were received after the instatement of the MATT (i.e., a 250% increase). More men also engaged in specialized assessment and treatment after the instatement of the MATT (i.e., a 467% increase in engagement).


The current study describes the number of referrals and the number of men who engaged in treatment before and after the instatement of a specialized treatment track for men. The results suggest that the addition of the MATT helped to increase the number of men referred and promoted their engagement in recommended care.

Level of evidence

V retrospective descriptive study.


Eating disorders Men Treatment Group therapy Stigma 



The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of the staff with the Adult Eating Disorders Program of Kingston Health Sciences Centre. Thank you to the patients who consented to take part in this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have none to disclose.

Ethical approval

This study met ethical compliance and clearance through the Queen’s University Health Sciences and Affiliated Teaching Hospitals Research Ethics Board as part of the clinics ongoing program evaluation research.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained and all participants provided written consent to participate.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brad A. MacNeil
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Chloe C. Hudson
    • 1
    • 3
  • Pauline Leung
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Adult Eating Disorders Program, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC)Hotel Dieu Hospital SiteKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  4. 4.Counseling and Psychological ServicesGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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