Long-term outcome of residential treatment for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa

Timothy D Brewerton, Carolyn Costin
Eating Disorders 2011, 19 (2): 132-44
We analyzed results from surveys of respondents who had completed ≥ 30 days of treatment at Monte Nido Residential Treatment Program over a 10 year period. Participants with anorexia nervosa (AN; n = 66) and bulimia nervosa (BN; n = 52) completed the Eating Disorders Inventory-2 (EDI-2), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and a structured eating disorder assessment at admission and follow-up. Mean duration between discharge and last follow-up was 4.6 years and 3.8 years for AN and BN respectively. For AN there were significant improvements in BMI, BDI, 10 of 11 EDI-2 subscales, and frequencies of bingeing and purging. For BN there were significant improvements in BDI, all EDI subscales, and frequencies of bingeing and purging. Eighty-nine percent of AN graduates and 75% of BN graduates had good or intermediate outcomes. Using linear regression, the best model contained the single variable, discharge BMI, which predicted 23% of the variance explaining full recovery from AN (p ≤ .02). For BN, the best model contained vomiting frequency and the bulimia subscale score of the EDI-2 at discharge, which accounted for 37% of the variance explaining full recovery from BN (p ≤ .02). The great majority of patients showed significant improvement at long-term follow-up after this program of residential treatment. In addition, these results underscore the importance of weight gain for AN patients and cessation of bulimic symptoms for BN patients when predicting long-term recovery.

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