Comparing treatment programmes for anorexia

Lisa J Cotter, Hubert J Lacey, John F Morgan, Richard Sly, Michael H Ussher

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To compare end-of-treatment outcomes for patients receiving either inpatient or day patient specialist treatment for anorexia nervosa. Outcomes included body mass index (BMI), symptom severity (EDE), general psychopathology (CORE), and treatment cost.

A naturalistic study design was used. Participants were asked to complete validated questionnaires at the start and end of treatment, and weight data were also collected at these points. Cost of treatment episode was calculated at the end of treatment. These variables were compared between units.

Patients attending the two different treatment modalities had comparable treatment outcomes across weight measures, and global scores on the EDE and CORE questionnaires—all considered key treatment outcome variables. Those attending day patient treatment had treatment costs of on average £17 753 less than those in inpatient treatment.

Day patient treatment can produce similar treatment outcomes to its more intensive—and expensive—inpatient alternative. This is the first study to examine this in eating disorders, and warrants further examination.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Healthcare Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2016


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Eating disorders
  • Treatment outcomes
  • Commissioning

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