The Multidisciplinary Team Approach to the Outpatient Treatment of Disordered Eating


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Abstract

The multidisciplinary team approach to the patient with disordered eating is widely recognized as the best practice. Team members include a physician, a nutritionist, and a mental health professional. All should be experienced in the care of individuals with disordered eating. Each member of the treatment team has unique skills and responsibilities with respect to patient care. However, there is considerable overlap in what each member of the treatment team does to promote recovery from disordered eating. It is important to remember that eating problems exist on a spectrum from disordered eating behaviors that do not meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria, to anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa. Prognosis is directly related to duration of illness, so early intervention, even when symptoms may be minimal, is preferable. Despite multi---- disciplinary treatment efforts, overall prognosis is poor, with only 40% to 50% of patients with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa progressing to complete recovery. Continued efforts and early, comprehensive intervention must be undertaken by all practitioners.

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