Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Family-Based Treatment May Benefit Teens with Anorexia

By Molly McVoy, MD

A recent Wall Street Journal article reported on a study regarding teens with anorexia. The results of the study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, indicate that having parents actively involved in the treatment of adolescents with eating disorders is more effective than the traditional one-on-one treatment with a therapist.

The study looked at 120 teenagers using the Maudsley model versus traditional one-on-one therapy. The Maudsley model encourages parents to take charge of the eating habits of their children with eating disorders, such as anorexia. At one year, the study found that about 50 percent of patients treated with this family based therapy were in remission versus 23 percent in the more traditional individual therapy.

Anorexia nervosa is a serious, often life-threatening illness in which patients fear gaining weight to such a degree they restrict their diet and maintain a body weight below the 85 percent of a healthy weight. Successful treatment is intensive, involving medical monitoring, dietary interventions, therapy and, at times, medication.

This study adds to accumulating evidence that family involvement is critical in successful treatment of adolescents with eating disorders. As more studies are published with similar data, treatment centers for eating disorders and increasingly involving families in the intensive treatment programs.

The has more information on eating disorders

1 comment:

  1. This approach takes an unbelievable amount of patience .....we've been trying this with our 18 year old son who has been anorexic (and now bulemic) for a little over a year. It is a complete and total battle of wills .... we can sit there with him for up to 3 hours trying to convince him to eat lunch or whatever .... and he just is not gonna .... nope .... teenager attitude mixed with an eating disorder is extremely stressful to deal with .... and yes we've done the acute care hospital and inpatient eating disorder stay and day programs and tons of nutrition counseling and social worker counseling (the counseling was NOT covered by our insurance .... $100 per session .... 2 - 4 sessions/week) ... and now he sees a psychologist 2 x week (one session per week is a family session) ..... so I applaud the parents who have been successful with the Maudsley approach ... they have the patience of a saint (maybe I haven't given it enough time ... but I don't know how many more meals I can tolerate/afford to sit for hours and hours trying and trying to get him to see the light re: the reasons he needs to eat for his height, activity level, health , etc ..... he's a teenager and knows everything and we lowly parents don't know what we're talking about ... neither do his doctors ..... ARGH !~!!!!)


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