The severe consequences of having an eating disorder can be minimised by early treatment access. However, most individuals experience lengthy delays in accessing help. This review aimed to systematically evaluate the empirical literature relating to the barriers and facilitators that might influence these delays, for individuals with eating psychopathology. Twenty empirical studies were reviewed. Evidence for potential barriers included: 1) logistical difficulties, 2) ethnicity and acculturation, 3) poor mental health literacy, 4) self-reliance, and 5) social and interpersonal fears. Potential facilitators included: 1) problem recognition, 2) interventions to enhance recognition, 3) impairment of functioning and health, and 4) severity of eating disordered symptoms. More complex studies are required to establish the directional influence of these factors on help seeking. A shift in focus from resactive facilitators, such as symptom severity, towards the factors that might operate earlier on in the help seeking process, is more likely to generate ideas and interventions to achieve earlier treatment access
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