Outcomes for adults with anorexia nervosa who do not respond early to outpatient treatment

Tracey Wade*, Suman Ambwani, Valentina Cardi, Gaia Albano, Janet Treasure

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To better understand those patients with anorexia nervosa who do not show early response to treatment and are likely to have poorer outcome. Method: From an existing data set of 187 patients with anorexia nervosa across 22 eating disorder outpatient services in the United Kingdom, participants who had started treatment and had at least one body mass index (BMI) observation in the first 6 weeks of treatment were eligible for these secondary analyses (N = 65), a latent class analysis of BMI change over the first 6 weeks of treatment. Fifty-six patients showed no early change in BMI. We used logistic regression to examine predictors of good outcome in the 40 participants who had 12-month follow-up data. Predictors included global EDE-Q, negative affect (Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales) and functional impairment (Work and Social Adjustment Scale). Results: Good outcome was achieved by 23% of patients and remission by 15%. Good outcome was predicted by less functional impairment at baseline. Discussion: Further work that can identify sub-groups of patients with anorexia nervosa who do not achieve good outcome after treatment will inform the development of targeted engagement approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1282
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • anorexia nervosa
  • early response
  • functional impairment
  • good outcome
  • treatment


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