The role of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of eating disorders: A systematic review

Eat Behav. 2016 Apr;21:179-88. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2016.03.002. Epub 2016 Mar 6.

Abstract

This systematic review critically appraises the role of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of those with an eating disorder. Sixteen studies were included in the review. The results of this review show that the role of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of those with an eating disorder is unclear and further studies should be conducted. A potential role was found for massage and bright light therapy for depression in those with Bulimia Nervosa and a potential role for acupuncture and relaxation therapy, in the treatment of State Anxiety, for those with an eating disorder. The role of these complementary therapies in treating eating disorders should only be provided as an adjunctive treatment only.

Keywords: Complementary and alternative medicine; Eating disorders; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture
  • Anorexia Nervosa / complications
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy
  • Bulimia Nervosa / complications
  • Bulimia Nervosa / therapy
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / therapy
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / complications
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Massage
  • Phototherapy
  • Relaxation Therapy