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Multi-family Therapy for Eating Disorders Across the Lifespan.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review aims to report on recent evidence for multi-family therapy for eating disorders (MFT) across the lifespan. It is a narrative update of recent systematic, scoping and meta-analytic reviews.

RECENT FINDINGS: There has been a recent increase in published theoretical, quantitative and qualitative reports on MFT in the past few years. Recent and emerging data continues to confirm MFT can support eating disorder symptom improvement and weight gain, for those who may need to, for people across the lifespan. It has also been associated with improved comorbid psychiatric symptoms, self-esteem and quality of life. Data are also emerging regarding possible predictors, moderators and mediators of MFT outcomes, as well as qualitative data on perceived change processes. These data suggest families with fewer positive caregiving experiences at the start of treatment may particularly benefit from the MFT context. Additionally, early change in family functioning within MFT may lead to improved outcomes at end of treatment. MFT is a useful adjunctive treatment across the lifespan for people with eating disorders. It helps to promote change in eating disorder and related difficulties. It has also been shown to support and promote broader family and caregiver functioning.

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