A systematic review of interventions to support transitions from intensive treatment for adults with anorexia nervosa and/or their carers

Danielle Clark Bryan*, Valentina Cardi, Daniel Willmott, Eimear Eileen Teehan, Katie Rowlands, Janet Treasure

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: In the short term, intensive treatment focusing on restoring weight for anorexia nervosa can remediate many symptoms. However, there is a high level of relapse after discharge. This paper examines interventions developed to bridge the transition from intensive to less intensive forms of treatment for adult anorexia nervosa. Method: We undertook a systematic review of the literature on interventions aimed at providing transition support. The Template for Intervention Description and Replication was used to describe components of the transition interventions. Patient's drop-out rates, weight, eating disorder psychopathology and mood data were extracted at end of treatment and follow-up to describe preliminary efficacy. Results: Fourteen studies were selected: nine used psychological interventions delivered through face-to-face talking therapy or guided self-help, three examined the use of fluoxetine and two assessed stepped-care approaches. Transition support was delivered to patients in 11 studies, to patients and carers in two studies, and carers alone in another study. Conclusions: There was a great heterogeneity in the content and structure of the transition interventions evaluated. Overall, drop-out rates were lower for psychological support than pharmacological interventions or stepped-care approaches. Changes in eating disorder outcomes and mood were small to moderate throughout for studies that included a comparison group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-370
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • anorexia nervosa
  • guided self-help
  • psychological therapies
  • relapse prevention
  • transition support

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