Treatment of eating disorders in child and adolescent psychiatry

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Recent research on the multimodal treatment of eating disorders in child and adolescent psychiatry has yielded a significant increase in randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews. This review aims to present relevant findings published during the last 2 years related to medical and psychological treatment of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

Recent findings

For anorexia nervosa, recent reports described the efficacy of different treatment settings, lengths of hospital stay and high vs. low-calorie refeeding programmes. For both anorexia and bulimia nervosa, a number of randomized controlled trials comparing individual and family-oriented treatment approaches were published. For the newly defined ARFID, only very preliminary results on possible treatment approaches implying a multidisciplinary treatment programme were obtained.

Summary

Although there is some evidence of the effectiveness of new child and adolescent psychiatric treatment approaches to eating disorders, the relapse rate remains very high, and there is an urgent need for ongoing intensive research.

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