A new study has claimed success in treating anorexic women, whose disorder has not become too severe, saying they can be treated successfully on an out-patient basis.
Even after conclusion of therapy, they continue to make significant weight gains.
The Anorexia Nervosa Treatment of OutPatients (ANTOP) study was conducted at ten German university eating disorder centers and was designed by the departments for psychosomatic medicine at the university hospitals of Heidelberg (Director: Prof. Wolfgang Herzog) and Tubingen (Director: Prof. Stephan Zipfel).
The ANTOP study, which accompanied 242 adult women over a period of 22 months (10 months of therapy, 12 months of follow-up observation) now allows scientific conclusions to be drawn about the efficacy of different types of psychotherapy for the first time.
Three groups of either 82 or 80 patients each underwent a different method of out-patient psychotherapy. The therapy involved two new psychotherapy methods that were specially developed for out-patient treatment of anorexia and an optimized form of the currently practiced standard psychotherapy ("optimized treatment as usual").
For the specific therapies, treatment manuals were developed in conjunction with international eating disorder experts. The therapy comprises 40 out-patient individual therapy sessions over a period of 10 months.
The study has been published in journal The Lancet.