Introduction: Inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa is often successful in restoring body weight, but a high percentage of patients relapse following discharge. The aim of the present study was to establish the immediate and longer-term effects of a novel inpatient program for adolescents that was designed to produce enduring change.
Method: Twenty-seven consecutive patients with severe anorexia nervosa were admitted to a 20-week inpatient treatment program based on the enhanced cognitive behavior therapy (CBT-E). The patients were assessed before and after hospitalization, and 6 and 12 months later.
Results: Twenty-six patients (96%) completed the program. In these patients, there was a substantial improvement in weight, eating disorder features, and general psychopathology that was well maintained at 12-month follow-up.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that inpatient CBT-E is a promising approach to the treatment of adolescents with severe anorexia nervosa.
Keywords: adolescents; anorexia nervosa; cognitive behavior therapy; eating disorders; family therapy; hospitalization; relapse; treatment.