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Int J Eat Disord. 2006 Dec;39(8):667-76.

Evaluating the treatment of eating disorders from the patient's perspective.

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  • 1Center for Eating Disorders Ursula, Leidschendam, The Netherlands.



This study investigated the evaluation of treatment of eating disorders (EDs) from the patient's perspective in a large community based sample in the Netherlands. It investigated perceived helpfulness of different types of treatment. Furthermore it investigated which patient and treatment characteristics contribute to the evaluation of treatment.


The Eating Disorder Examination questionnaire was administered to 44 anorexia nervosa (AN), 43 bulimia nervosa (BN), 69 EDNOS (ED not otherwise specified), and 148 former ED patients. A questionnaire specifically designed for the purpose of this study addressing treatment history and patient's evaluation of their treatment was administered.


There is a substantial patient and doctor delay in seeking and finding treatment. Treatment in specialized ED centers, self-help groups, and treatment with a partner were reported to be most helpful. Beneficial components of treatment reported in specialized ED centers refer to the communication skills of professionals, the therapist-patient working alliance, the contact with peers, and the focus of treatment on both ED symptoms as well as underlying issues.


The patient's perspective on treatment of EDs does provide recommendations for the improvement of treatment of EDs that will facilitate clinical decision making and treatment planning.

Copyright 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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