Evidence for Cognitive Remediation Therapy in Young People with Anorexia Nervosa: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Literature

Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2017 Jul;25(4):227-236. doi: 10.1002/erv.2522.


Cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) for eating disorders has demonstrated promising findings in adult age groups, with randomised treatment trials and systematic reviews demonstrating medium to large effect sizes in improved cognitive performance. In recent years, several case series have been conducted for young people with anorexia nervosa, but these findings have not been synthesised in the form of a systematic review. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the evidence for the efficacy of CRT in child and adolescent age groups. Nine studies were identified, with a subsequent meta-analysis suggesting improvements in cognitive performance with small effect sizes. Patient feedback was positive, with low dropout rates. These findings suggest that CRT has potential as a supplementary treatment for young people with anorexia nervosa, warranting further investigation using randomised treatment trials. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

Keywords: adolescent; anorexia nervosa; cognitive remediation; systematic review; therapy; young adults.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy*
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Cognitive Remediation*
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome