Telehealth Feasible, Effective for Family-Based Anorexia Treatment

HealthDay News — Telehealth-enabled family-based treatment (FBT) for adolescents with anorexia nervosa is both feasible and effective, according to a study published online in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Kristen E. Anderson, MSW, from the Chicago Center for Evidence Based Treatment, and colleagues evaluated FBT via telehealth for 10 adolescents (mean age 16) diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.

The researchers found that all participants were retained for the course of treatment. Percent median body mass index improved significantly from baseline to the end of treatment (P =.013) and from baseline to the 6-month follow-up (P =.032). 

The eating disorder examination global scores similarly improved (P =.002 and .001, respectively).

“These findings provide preliminary evidence that it is feasible to deliver FBT via telehealth and that satisfactory clinical outcomes are achievable,” the authors write.

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Anderson KE, Byrne CE, Crosby RD, Le Grange D. Utilizing telehealth to deliver family-based treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa [published online August 11, 2017]. Int J Eat Disord. doi:10.1002/eat.22759