Effective treatment of eating disorders: Results at multiple sites

Behav Neurosci. 2013 Dec;127(6):878-89. doi: 10.1037/a0034921.


We report the results of a study based on 1,428 patients with eating disorders treated at 6 clinics. These patients were consecutively referred over 18 years and used inpatient and outpatient treatment. The subjects were diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified. Patients practiced a normal eating pattern with computerized feedback technology, they were supplied with external heat, their physical activity was reduced, and their social habits restored to allow them to return to their normal life. The estimated rate of remission for this therapy was 75% after a median of 12.5 months of treatment. A competing event such as the termination of insurance coverage, or failure of the treatment, interfered with outcomes in 16% of the patients, and the other patients remained in treatment. Of those who went in remission, the estimated rate of relapse was 10% over 5 years of follow-up and there was no mortality. These data replicate the outcomes reported in our previous studies and they compare favorably with the poor long-term remission rates, the high rate of relapse, and the high mortality rate reported with standard treatments for eating disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Anorexia Nervosa / mortality
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy*
  • Bulimia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Bulimia Nervosa / mortality
  • Bulimia Nervosa / therapy*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / mortality
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult