Inpatient treatment of anorexia nervosa, difficult and at times complex, has been shown to promote enduring change. An integrated treatment approach that includes medical, psychological, nursing, and social interventions can restore patients to a healthy weight, improve abnormal eating behaviors, and ameliorate many of the central psychopathological attitudes and illness-driven behaviors characteristic of the disorder. This article reviews inpatient treatment of anorexia nervosa, evaluating empirical studies and providing a critique of their methodology and potential applicability, combining available published studies with clinical experience to suggest a comprehensive pragmatic treatment approach, and noting research needs for the future. More controlled double-blind studies are urgently needed to assess virtually every aspect of inpatient care, especially methods for promoting safe and rapid weight restoration. Comparative studies on the efficacy of behavioral, psychotherapeutic, and pharmacological approaches and determination of the optimum step-wise preparation for discharge into a weight-preoccupied society are also needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health