Evidence-Based Psychosocial Treatments for Eating Problems and Eating Disorders

  title={Evidence-Based Psychosocial Treatments for Eating Problems and Eating Disorders},
  author={Pamela K. Keel and Alissa A. Haedt},
  journal={Journal of Clinical Child \& Adolescent Psychology},
  pages={39 - 61}
  • P. Keel, Alissa A. Haedt
  • Published 3 March 2008
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
Eating disorders represent a significant source of psychological impairment among adolescents. However, most controlled treatment studies have focused on adult populations. This review provides a synthesis of existing data concerning the efficacy of various psychosocial interventions for eating disorders in adolescent samples. Modes of therapy examined in adolescent samples include family therapy, cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy mostly in patients with… 
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Using the most recent Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology methodological review criteria, family treatment–behavior (FT-B) is the only well-established treatment for adolescents with anorexia nervosa and FT-B is a possibly efficacious treatment for binge eating disorder.
Group Therapy for Adolescents Living With an Eating Disorder
Cognitive behavioral therapy groups were found to be more effective for bulimia nervosa and multifamily group therapy showed promise for anorexia nervosa, and the utility of group therapy for promoting weight restoration in underweight individuals living with an eating disorder was suggested.
The Role of Families in the Treatment of Eating Disorders in Adolescents: an Analysis of Family-Based Models
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The Advances of Eating Disorders in Adolescent
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Overall, the audience will be able to acquire some general knowledge about eating disorders and learn about the efficacy of family therapy with eating disorders.
Adolescent eating disorders: treatment and response in a naturalistic study.
Although CBT showed the strongest association with outcome in a subsample characterized by poor relational/personality functioning, dynamic therapy was associated with better global outcome in the overall sample.
Effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in eating disorders: an overview of Cochrane systematic reviews
The cognitive behavioral approach was the most effective treatment, especially for bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and the night eating syndrome, and the family approach showed greater effectiveness.
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Overall, pharmacotherapy has limited benefits in the treatment of AN, with some promising preliminary findings associated with olanzapine, an antipsychotic agent, and in adolescents with AN, the evidence base is strongest for the use of family therapy over alternative individual psychotherapies.
Dialectical behavior therapy for adolescent binge eating, purging, suicidal behavior, and non-suicidal self-injury: a pilot study.
Results indicate that it is feasible to address multiple forms of psychopathology during the treatment of BN symptoms in this age-group.


Effectiveness of spouse involvement in cognitive behavioral therapy for binge eating disorder.
Although both CBT groups fared significantly better than the wait-list control group on measures of binge eating, weight, eating psychopathology, and general psychopathology), CBT with spouse involvement did not result in any additional benefit over and above standard CBT.
Comparison of Family Therapy and Family Group Psychoeducation in Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa
Weight restoration was achieved following the 4-month period of treatment in both the family therapy and family psychoeducation groups, but no significant change was reported in psychological functioning by either adolescents or parents.
A controlled comparison of family versus individual therapy for adolescents with anorexia nervosa.
BFST and EOIT proved to be effective treatments for adolescents with anorexia nervosa, but BFST produced a faster return to health.
A randomized controlled trial of family therapy and cognitive behavior therapy guided self-care for adolescents with bulimia nervosa and related disorders.
Compared with family therapy, CBT guided self-care has the slight advantage of offering a more rapid reduction of bingeing, lower cost, and greater acceptability for adolescents with bulimia or eating disorder not otherwise specified.
A randomized controlled comparison of family-based treatment and supportive psychotherapy for adolescent bulimia nervosa.
Family-based treatment showed a clinical and statistical advantage over SPT at posttreatment and at 6-month follow-up and reduction in core bulimic symptoms was also more immediate for patients receiving FBT vs SPT.
Comparison of cognitive-behavioral and supportive-expressive therapy for bulimia nervosa.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy was significantly more effective in ameloriating disturbed attitudes toward eating and weight, depression, poor self-esteem, general psychological distress, and certain personality traits than supportive-expressive therapy.
A randomized comparison of group cognitive-behavioral therapy and group interpersonal psychotherapy for the treatment of overweight individuals with binge-eating disorder.
Group IPT is a viable alternative to group CBT for the treatment of overweight patients with BED and both treatments showed initial and long-term efficacy for the core and related symptoms of BED.
Evaluation of family treatments in adolescent anorexia nervosa: A pilot study
It was found that, in the short term, there were few differences in terms of symptomatic relief between the two treatment groups, and the impact and the effective components of family therapy were found.
A comparison of short- and long-term family therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa.
A short-term course of family therapy appears to be as effective as a long- term course for adolescents with short-duration anorexia nervosa, however, there is a suggestion that those with more severe eating-related obsessive-compulsive thinking and nonintact families benefit from longer treatment.
Three psychological treatments for bulimia nervosa. A comparative trial.
Cognitive behavior therapy, when applied to patients with bulimia nervosa, operates through mechanisms specific to this treatment and is more effective than both interpersonal psychotherapy and a simplified behavioral version of cognitive behavior therapy.