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 | | 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 eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), and discusses the role of primary care and presents treatment algorithms. In AN, although there is consensus on the need for specialist care that includes nutritional rehabilitation in addition to psychotherapy, no single approach has 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. Although more trials are needed in BED and EDNOS, less intensive and nonspecialist CBT is likely to be efficacious, combined where appropriate with weight management strategies, either behavioral or pharmacological. Primary care practitioners are in a key role, both with regard to providing care as with co-ordination and initiation of specialist care.

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

Article.  20134 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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