Outpatient management of eating disorders in adults

Becker, A.E.

Current Women's Health Reports 3(3): 221-229


ISSN/ISBN: 1534-5874
PMID: 12734033
Document Number: 9525
Eating disorders are prevalent in the young adult female population. Given the serious medical, nutritional, and psychological risks associated with eating disorders, it is advisable that patients be seen within the framework of a multidisciplinary team. Psychotherapy is the most effective treatment modality for eating disorders and constitutes the core of mental health treatment. Although cognitive behavior therapy trials dominate the research literature on interventions for bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, various modalities of psychotherapy have efficacy. Active weight management is also a key component of treatment for anorexia nervosa. Psychotropic medication therapy is not generally useful for the primary symptoms of anorexia nervosa, whereas it is moderately effective in the treatment of both bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Given the patient population at Massachusetts General Hospital, to which patients often present with serious and chronic symptoms, comorbid medical and psychiatric illness, and history of poor response to treatment, we have found a flexible and eclectic treatment approach most useful clinically.

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Outpatient management of eating disorders in adults