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Peters, Kathrin; Meule, Adrian; Voderholzer, Ulrich and Rauh, Elisabeth (2021): Effects of interval-based inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa: An observational study. In: Brain and Behavior, Vol. 11, No. 11, e32362

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Objective After inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa (AN), many patients relapse and need to be readmitted. To obtain a sustained improvement, a pre-planned multistep inpatient procedure might help to improve the patient's skills in dealing with symptoms and transdiagnostic problems, thus decreasing symptoms of AN. However, no data have been reported for such interval treatment yet. Therefore, this study examined effects of interval treatment in inpatients with AN. Method Data of adult women with AN (N = 304) who received inpatient treatment and either received interval treatment (n = 179) or not (n = 125) were analyzed. Of these, 225 patients completed a follow up measurement after an average of 25 months. Treatment outcome variables were body mass index and subscales of the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 at admission, discharge, and follow up. Results Across measurements, the interval treatment group had larger increases in body mass index and larger decreases in drive for thinness and binge/purge symptoms than the no interval treatment group. These differences did not seem to be driven by longer treatment duration. Discussion Our data suggest that interval treatment for AN is effective and may even be superior to conventional single inpatient treatment. Given the observational nature of this study, however, controlled studies are necessary to corroborate these findings.

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