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Simpler therapy may successfully treat adolescents with anorexia nervosa
  1. Stewart Agras
  1. Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA; sagras@stanford.edu

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ABSTRACT FROM: Le Grange D, Hughes EK, Court A, et al. Randomized clinical trial of parent-focused treatment and family-based treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2016;55:683–92.

What is already known on this topic

Family-based treatment (FBT) is an effective evidence-based therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa (AN) and is the recommended approach to treatment at the present time.1 The effectiveness of other treatments such as individual psychotherapy (ego-oriented therapy) and generic family therapy (systemic family therapy) is based on less evidence and such treatments are not as effective as FBT.1 Whether treatment involving the whole family, or a simpler treatment involving parents only, differ in effectiveness is not known.

Methods of the study

This was a single-site study conducted at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. A total of 107 adolescents aged 12–18 years with AN were randomly allocated to two treatments: FBT—involving the whole family in treatment together with a family meal, or parent-focused treatment (PFT)—involving only the parents in treatment …

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