AIM: Eating disorders (ED) in children and younger adolescents are becoming more evident, but there is a small evidence base for their management in this population. We hypothesized that a new family-centered partial hospital program for young patients would be effective in promoting weight gain, as well as improvement in psychiatric symptoms. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of 56 patients treated in the program between August 2008 and November 2009 was performed. Historical data, anthropometric variables and scores from psychological instruments [Children's Eating Attitudes Test (ChEAT), Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), and Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS)] were collected on admission and at discharge. After exclusion, 30 patients were available for statistical analysis, using paired t-tests. The primary outcome variables were improvement in weight and change in total ChEAT score. Secondary outcomes included improvements in the CDI and RCMAS scores. Multivariate analysis included linear regression models that controlled for patient-specific fixed effects. RESULTS: The cohort was 87% female with a mean age of 12.8±2 years; 60% were diagnosed with ED not otherwise specified. Two-thirds had a co-morbid depressive and/or anxiety disorder. Change in weight was significant (p<0.0001), as were improvements on total ChEAT (p<0.0001), CDI (p=0.0002), and RCMAS (p<0.0001) scores. No historical factors were correlated with improvement, nor was use of psychotropic medications. Length of stay in weeks significantly predicted greater weight gain (p=0.004, R2=0.26). CONCLUSIONS: Patients treated in a family-centered partial hospital program had significant improvements in weight and psychological parameters. This approach holds significant promise for the management of young ED patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health