Anorexia Nervosa Treatment Options

Topics: Anorexia nervosa, Eating disorders, Mental disorder Pages: 6 (1705 words) Published: March 7, 2011

Anorexia Nervosa treatment options
Debra L Couchman
Central Methodist University

Anorexia Nervosa is “an eating disorder characterized by extreme weight loss, amenorrhea, fear of weight gain and distorted body image” (Stewart, Schiavo, Herzog & Franco, 2008, p. 311). The National Eating Disorder Association reported that anorexia nervosa affects “1-2% of the population” (Elliot, 2010, p.37). The rate is highest during college years and mostly affects young women. The average age of onset is seventeen, but it is occurring in children as young as six years old (Hamilton, 2007, p. 45). “Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness” (South Carolina Department of Mental Health, n.d.). Unfortunately, most individuals with this disease do not receive the treatment that they need. The main reason for this is that most insurance companies do not cover the cost of treating eating disorders. This student’s stepdaughter has been suffering from anorexia nervosa since she was nineteen years old. Currently, she is twenty-two years old and still in outpatient treatment for her condition. Her parents have already spent over $100,000 out-of-pocket for inpatient and outpatient treatments for her eating disorder because her insurance did not cover any of it. Treatment typically consists of a combination of medical care and psychological counseling. However, support groups have shown recent promise in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. This paper will compare current studies on family therapy, individual outpatient therapy and support group therapy.

Fathers, daughters, and anorexia nervosa by J. Carol Elliott: a brief summary.
The topic for this study was the examination of family relationships, how those relationships affect women with eating disorders, and how family therapy can help these women to recover. The research problem is the need for greater understanding of the father-daughter relationship, how it affects anorexia nervosa and what can be done to improve the chances of ANOREXIA NERVOSA TREATMENT OPTIONS 3 recovery for these women. The population was fathers of daughters who have been in a two-year recovery from anorexia nervosa and daughters, who have been in a two-year recovery from anorexia nervosa. The research design is a narrative analysis method. The daughter’s stories were examined and the noticed changes, as time progressed, were carefully studied.

These researchers concluded that assessment of the father-daughter relationship is important when a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa is made. Early father-daughter relationships are characterized by uncertainty and parental marital conflict. The daughters felt that their parents would be better off without them. These women held a fear of abandonment and many of them had fathers that left during early adolescence. With therapy, the daughters were able to change their expectations of their fathers, which helped them to see their illness more realistically. The fathers became actively involved in their daughters’ care, which helped them become emotionally available to their daughters. The outcomes could have been better, but most of the participants came to an acceptance.

It is recommended that fathers become active participants in child-rearing. Nurses should intervene with parents and their children by explaining the role of fathers in development of anorexia nervosa. It is important to encourage a family-centered approach to nursing care for these patients.

Integrating evidence-based treatments with individual needs in an outpatient facility for eating disorders by Angela D. Schaffner and Linda P. Buchanan: a brief summary.
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