Evidence-Based Treatment for the Eating Disorders

Phillipa J. Hay and Angélica de M. Claudino

in The Oxford Handbook of Eating Disorders

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780195373622
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940318 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Evidence-Based Treatment for the Eating Disorders

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This chapter comprises a focused review of the best available evidence for psychological and pharmacological treatments of choice for anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and other specified and unspecified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED and UFED), discusses the role of primary care and online therapies, and presents treatment algorithms. In AN, although there is consensus on the need for specialist care that includes nutritional rehabilitation in addition to psychological therapy, no single approach has yet been found to offer a distinct advantage. In contrast, manualized cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for BN has attained “first-line” treatment status with a stronger evidence base than other psychotherapies. Similarly, CBT has a good evidence base in treatment of BED and for BN, and BED has been successfully adapted into less intensive and non-specialist forms. Behavioral and pharmacological weight loss management in treatment of co-morbid obesity/overweight and BED may be helpful in the short term, but long-term maintenance of effects is unclear. Primary care practitioners are in a key role, both with regard to providing care and with coordination and initiation of specialist care. There is an emerging evidence base for online therapies in BN and BED where access to care is delayed or problematic.

Keywords: anorexia nervosa; binge eating disorder; bulimia nervosa; cognitive behavior therapy; pharmacological treatment; psychological treatment

Article.  28512 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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