Update on Course and Outcome in Eating Disorders

Keel, P. K., and Brown, T. A.
International Journal of Eating Disorders, 43:3, 2010

The purpose of this review is to provide an updateon course and outcome studies for eating disor-ders, including anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimianervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), andother eating disorders not otherwise specified(EDNOS), published over the past 5 years. Eatingdisorder course and outcome represent importantparameters from a number of perspect ives. Whenpatient s present for treatment, they frequentlywant to know what their prognosis is—particularlywhen facing an arduous course of treatment thatmay invo lve inpatient or intensive outpatient mul-tidiscip linary interventions. Data from course andoutcome studies can he lp clinicians set realisticexpectations regarding the time and effort that maybe required for a patient to overcome his or her ill-ness. Clinicians also need information on eatingdisorder course and outcome for the purpo ses oftreatment planning and balancing their case load.In addition to informing patients and clinicians oflikely course and outcome, our understanding ofthe classificat ion of eating disorders––that is,meaningful boundaries between on e disorder ofeating and another––is based, in part, on informa-tion regarding their course and outcome.

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