Background: Little is known about which therapeutic 'ingredients' in the treatment of eating disorders (anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED)) are needed for recovery. Remarkably, most studies on this topic have neglected the patient's view.
Method: In this study, a large sample of eating disorder patients (n = 132) was invited to evaluate which elements in the treatment they consider to be helpful and effective in their recovery process. These results were compared to the view of 49 eating disorder experts.
Results: Following the patient's view, 'improving self-esteem', 'improving body experience' and 'learning problem solving skills', were considered as core elements in their treatment. No major differences were found between the different patient samples when comparing the patient's and therapist's view.
Discussion: The findings suggest that therapists and patients share more or less the same view about the basic and effective elements in the treatment.
2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association