Family-Based Treatment for Anorexia in Adolescents
Family Based Treatment: An Evidence-Based Approach
Anorexia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life threatening disorder that often has devastating affects on patients and their families. Historically, Anorexia has been treated in inpatient and residential treatment facilities that require patients to live away from their families, which is often disruptive and distressing. Although treatment in these facilities is usually successful in restoring the patient’s weight, the rate of relapse once patients leave and return home is high - often resulting in multiple treatment episodes.
Researchers have found that for some patients suffering from Anorexia the inclusion of their families in the treatment process greatly contributes to their recovery (1), (2), (3). In addition, this treatment can be done in an outpatient setting, eliminating the need for patients to leave their families and live outside of the home.
Family Based Treatment for Anorexia
Family Based Treatment, also known as the Maudsley Approach, is a specific type of treatment for adolescents between ages 13-17 years struggling with Anorexia. This approach utilizes the parents and family as active participants in the restoration of the patient’s weight and physical health (1). This approach aims at preventing hospitalization, assisting parents in restoring their child’s weight, and helping him or her return to normal adolescent development free of an eating disorder.
This treatment approach has been found to be very effective for those patients who have had anorexia for less than 3 years. At the end of treatment approximately two thirds of adolescent patients are restored to a healthy weight, and, impressively, five years later 75 - 90% remain fully weight recovered (2). Research has also shown that most patients participating in a Family Based Treatment require on average no more than 20 treatment sessions over the course of 6 to 12 months (3). For more information please visit www.maudsleyparents.org.
Family Based Treatment at Summit
Summit offers Family Based Treatment for adolescents between the ages of 13-17 years old who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa. The program consists of weekly family therapy or supervised family meals. Patients are treated by a licensed clinician specifically trained in Family Based Treatment. Because the process of recovering from Anorexia Nervosa can cause physical symptoms and medical complications, patients are monitored by our medical team consisting of a nurse, physician and psychiatrist, all of whom are experienced in the treatment of eating disorders.
For more information or to schedule an assessment, please contact Summit at (916) 574-1000, or visit our web site at www.sedop.org.
(1) Loeb, K., Le Grange, D, 2009. Family based treatment for adolescent eating disorders: Current status, new applications and future directions. International Journal of Adolescent Health, 2, 243-254.
(2) Eisler, I., Dare, C., Russell, G. F. M., Szmukler, G. I., Le Grange, D., and E. Dodge. 1997. Family and individual therapy in anorexia nervosa: A five-year follow-up. Archives of General Psychiatry, 54, 1025-1030.
(3) Le Grange, D., Binford, R., and K.L. Loeb. 2005. Manualized family-based treatment for anorexia nervosa: A case series. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 44, 41-46.; Lock, J., Agras, W.S., Bryson, S., and H. Kraemer. 2005. A comparison of short- and long-term family therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 44, 632-639.