Treatment of eating disorders: A systematic meta-review of meta-analyses and network meta-analyses

Alessio Maria Monteleone*, Francesca Pellegrino, Giovanni Croatto, Marco Carfagno, Anja Hilbert, Janet Treasure, Tracey Wade, Cynthia M. Bulik, Stephan Zipfel, Phillipa Hay, Ulrike Schmidt, Giovanni Castellini, Angela Favaro, Fernando Fernandez-Aranda, Jae Il Shin, Ulrich Voderholzer, Valdo Ricca, Davide Moretti, Daniele Busatta, Giovanni Abbate-DagaFilippo Ciullini, Giammarco Cascino, Francesco Monaco, Christoph U. Correll, Marco Solmi

*Corresponding author for this work

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MONTELEONE, A.M., F. Pellegrino, G. Croatto, M. Carfagno, A. Hilbert, J. Treasure, T. Wade, C. Bulik, S. Zipfel, P. Hay, U. Schmidt, G. Castellini, A. Favaro, F. Fernandez-Aranda, J. Il Shin, U. Voderholzer, V. Ricca, D. Moretti, D. Busatta, G. Abbate-Daga, F. Ciullini, G. Cascino, F. Monaco, C.U. Correll and M. Solmi. Treatment of Eating Disorders: a systematic meta-review of meta-analyses and network meta-analyses. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV 21(1) XXX-XXX, 2022.- Treatment efficacy for eating disorders (EDs) is modest and guidelines differ. We summarized findings/quality of (network) meta-analyses (N)MA of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in EDs. Systematic meta-review ((N)MA of RCTs, ED, active/inactive control), using (anorexia or bulimia or eating disorder) AND (meta-analy*) in PubMed/PsycINFO/Cochrane database up to December 15th, 2020. Standardized mean difference, odds/risk ratio vs control were summarized at end of treatment and follow-up. Interventions involving family (family-based therapy, FBT) outperformed active control in adults/adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN), and in adolescents with bulimia nervosa (BN). In adults with BN, individual cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)-ED had the broadest efficacy versus active control; also, antidepressants outperformed active. In mixed age groups with binge-eating disorder (BED), psychotherapy, and lisdexamfetamine outperformed active control. Antidepressants, stimulants outperformed placebo, despite lower acceptability, as did CBT-ED versus waitlist/no treatment. Family-based therapy is effective in AN and BN (adolescents). CBT-ED has the largest efficacy in BN (adults), followed by antidepressants, as well as psychotherapy in BED (mixed). Medications have short-term efficacy in BED (adults).

Original languageEnglish
Article number104857
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Early online date18 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • Eating disorders
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Psychotherapy
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Treatment
  • Umbrella review


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