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A specific form of family therapy (family-based treatment) is the leading treatment for adolescents with anorexia nervosa. As this treatment has certain limitations, alternative approaches are needed. "Enhanced" cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT-E) is a potential candidate given its utility as a treatment for adults with eating disorder psychopathology. The aim of the present study was to establish, in a representative cohort of patients with marked anorexia nervosa, the immediate and longer term outcome following CBT-E. Forty-nine adolescent patients were recruited from consecutive referrals to a community-based eating disorder clinic. Each was offered 40 sessions of CBT-E over 40 weeks from a single therapist. Two-thirds completed the full treatment with no additional input. In these patients there was a substantial increase in weight together with a marked decrease in eating disorder psychopathology. Over the 60-week post-treatment follow-up period there was little change despite minimal subsequent treatment. These findings suggest that CBT-E may prove to be a cost-effective alternative to family-based treatment.

More information
Type

Journal article

Journal

Behav Res Ther

Publication Date

01/2013

Volume

51

Pages

R9 - R12

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Ambulatory Care, Anorexia Nervosa, Body Mass Index, Cognitive Therapy, Cohort Studies, Family Therapy, Female, Humans, Intention to Treat Analysis, Italy, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Patient Compliance, Severity of Illness Index