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Int J Eat Disord. 2012 May;45(4):467-75. doi: 10.1002/eat.20978. Epub 2012 Jan 23.

Minimizing and treating chronicity in the eating disorders: a clinical overview.

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  • 1University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Fargo, ND, USA.



The purpose of this article is to review the available literature regarding treatment and management of eating disorder patients who fail to change over protracted periods of time.


Literature was reviewed pertaining to approaches to promoting change in treatment-resistant cases and the treatment of chronic eating disordered individuals.


Although there are a number of clinical perspectives on the treatment of chronic eating disorder patients, fundamental studies defining the concept of "chronicity" and standardized treatment approaches do not exist. Empirical studies of chronic cases are needed, given the absence of investigation of maintenance factors in chronic eating disorders and evidence-based approaches for treatment. An integrative and practical clinical protocol is provided.


The results of this review suggest that a significant number of eating disorder patients display a chronic course, which is poorly understood. Treatments for these individuals are not based on evidence-based findings.

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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