Early Response to treatment in Eating Disorders: A Systematic Review and a Diagnostic Test Accuracy Meta-Analysis

Bruno Palazzo Nazar*, Louise Kathrine Gregor, Gaia Albano, Angelo Marchica, Gianluca Lo Coco, Janet Treasure

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Early response to eating disorders treatment is thought to predict a later favourable outcome. A systematic review of the literature and meta-analyses examined the robustness of this concept. Method: The criteria used across studies to define early response were summarised following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Diagnostic Test Accuracy methodology was used to estimate the size of the effect. Results: Findings from 24 studies were synthesized and data from 14 studies were included in the meta-analysis. In Anorexia Nervosa, the odds ratio of early response predicting remission was 4.85(95%CI: 2.94-8.01) and the summary Area Under the Curve (AUC)=.77. In Bulimia Nervosa, the odds ratio was 2.75(95%CI:1.24-6.09) and AUC=.67. For Binge Eating Disorder, the odds ratio was 5.01(95%CI: 3.38-7.42) and AUC=.71. Conclusion: Early behaviour change accurately predicts later symptom remission for Anorexia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder but there is less predictive accuracy for Bulimia Nervosa.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association
Early online date7 Dec 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Dec 2016


  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Early response
  • Eating disorders
  • Family therapy


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