Re-posted from Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog archives. CCED and The Emily Program partnered in 2014.
By Dr. Mark Warren
A recent article in the International Journal of Eating Disorders by Couturier, Kimber, and Szatmari (2013) adds to the literature on the effectiveness of Maudsley Family Based Therapy (FBT). Their conclusion is that while FBT does not show superiority to other therapies during treatment, there are significant benefits at the 6 -12 month follow up. These benefits reach a level of significance that would cause one to recommend FBT for the treatment of eating disorders in adolescents instead of individual therapy. As they discuss in their article, there are multiple limitations to this study, however, research literature has long pointed to the superiority of FBT over individual therapy. This article, therefore, adds to a growing body of data.
From a CCED perspective, we are particularly interested in what happens in those first 6 months and if there is a way to improve the outcome of FBT more rapidly for adolescents. Our clinical experience is that by adding higher levels of care, in particularly partial hospitalization in conjunction with FBT, that we can improve orientation, adherence, and effectiveness of FBT, while still staying in line with the FBT model. Our clinical experience does not meet the criteria of the research considered in this particular article, since it is not a randomized control trial or have a control group associated with it. However, given the data that we have, we hope to find that the utilization of FBT within a higher level of care may be a more rapid way to help our clients move from anorexia to recovery. We hope to publish in the next year on the results of our research into this question.
Couturier, J., Kimber, M. and Szatmari, P. (2013), Efficacy of family-based treatment for adolescents with eating disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 46: 3–11. doi: 10.1002/eat.22042
Contributions by Sarah Emerman
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