New psychotherapy methods may treat some anorexia, study finds


A recent study has found that some new methods of psychotherapy are beneficial in treating certain forms of anorexia.

The Anorexia Nervosa Treatment of OutPatients (ANTOP) study was conducted at eating disorder clinics in Germany and included three groups of 80 patients over the course of 10 months.

Psychotherapy proves beneficial

Of the 242 patients involved, the Universitatsklinikum Heidelberg found that one-third were admitted for inpatient treatment due to their poor state of health, and about one-quarter of patients discontinued treatment before the end of the trial. Two new psychotherapy treatments were found to be beneficial to patients with anorexia.

The most successful was focal psychodynamic therapy, which identifies the way patients view negative relationships and how that affects emotion.

The other promising method was cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), focused on finding the problems behind the eating disorder and quickly bringing the patient back to a healthy weight as the problems are identified and confronted.

Other benefits included a decrease in the number of inpatient treatment requirements for patients utilizing focal psychodynamic therapy.

The program study's results were published in The Lancet.


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