What IS known about eating disorder treatment results?

For most of the history of eating disorder treatment clinicians did what they were trained to do or what they thought was best based on experience or theory.

These days patients and their families (not to mention insurance companies) are looking for "evidence-based" care guidelines. They want to know what treatments work best, and for whom.

Want to know the state of the art? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, publishes reports on what evidence exists to support one approach as opposed to another. And it is in readable English. And it is available online! Click here: AHRQ report "Management of Eating Disorders"

Among the gems: "Specific forms of family therapy initially focusing on parental control of renutrition is efficacious in treating AN in adolescents and leads to clinically meaningful weight gain and psychological change."

If your child is receiving care that is not evidence-based you have the right to ask why. If you have an adolescent living at home who is getting individual therapy and not family-based "Maudsley" therapy someone has some "splainin" to do. And perhaps I missed it, but I see no evidence to support residential care.


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