Family-based therapies can treat anorexia in teens, study finds

September 24, 2014 8:09 PM

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Family-based therapies can treat anorexia in teens, study finds

The study, a randomized, controlled trial of 164 patients conducted at six sites in the United States and Canada, compared two forms of anorexia treatment that involved regular therapy sessions with adolescents and their families. One approach focused on teaching parents to help their children eat normally and regain weight at home. The other therapy attempted to resolve difficult family dynamics. Both therapies produced similar rates of recovery from anorexia, but patients treated with the first approach gained weight faster and needed less hospitalization, the study found.

The patients were ages 12-18 and had been ill with anorexia for an average of 13.5 months. At the start of the study, all patients had body weights of at least 75 percent of what was considered ideal, meaning that physicians considered it safe for them to receive outpatient treatment. Nearly 90 perc...

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