Telehealth offers potential to improve outcomes for anorexia treatment

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Telehealth services could provide a feasible and effective platform for improving outcomes of patients with anorexia nervosa (AN), according to a study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Accessing family-based treatment for adolescents with AN and their families poses unique barriers, including social problems such as embarrassment or fear. To deliver treatment without sacrificing efficiency, researchers aimed to show the feasibility of telehealth for AN.

This study enrolled 10 adolescents meeting the DSM-5 standard for atypical AN and provided family-based treatment via telehealth. Results showed that all participants were retained for the course of treatment and improved their body mass index percentage from baseline after six months.

“These findings provide preliminary evidence that it is feasible to deliver family-based treatment via telehealth and that satisfactory clinical outcomes are achievable,” concluded first author Kristen E. Anderson MSW, LCSW, and colleagues.