What is the efficacy of psychotherapies for the treatment of anorexia nervosa?

Updated: Jun 10, 2019
  • Author: Bettina E Bernstein, DO; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Answer

In a study by McIntosh et al, some patients with anorexia nervosa who received nonspecific management (in which clinical management was combined with supportive psychotherapy) appeared to have outcomes as good as or better than those of patients who received IPT or CBT. [125] The reason for this may be that in the nonspecific approach, the therapy was provided by experienced clinicians, was practiced according to a detailed treatment manual, and instituted psychoeducation with a strong focus on normalizing eating (with approaches such as smart food selection and quantities needed to gain weight). [125]

Family group psychoeducation versus family therapy

A study by Geist et al of 25 adolescent females with anorexia nervosa suggested that family group psychoeducation is as useful as family therapy (as measured by weight gain in patients) in newly diagnosed, medically compromised patients, while being more cost-effective. [126]


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