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Eat Weight Disord. 2003 Dec;8(4):326-31.

Clinical course and short-term outcome of hospitalized adolescents with eating disorders: the success of combining adolescents and adults on an eating disorders unit.

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Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Although significant controversy exists regarding the appropriate setting for treating adolescents with eating disorders, empirical studies have been lacking. This study aimed to evaluate, and compare with adults, the clinical course and short-term outcome of adolescents with eating disorders hospitalized on an adult eating disorders unit. One hundred forty-four consecutive inpatient admissions on a weight gain protocol (28% minors and 72% adults) completed psychometric measures and were assessed on clinical indices. No differences between minors and adults were demonstrated for weight gain per week on either inpatient or partial hospitalization admissions. Whereas inpatient length of stay was equivalent, adolescents stayed significantly longer in partial hospitalization than adults. Minors did not differ from adults on the presence of problematic eating disordered behaviors or most psychometric measures, although they had less functional interference due to their eating disorders. Results suggest that an adult eating disorders specialty program can be an appropriate and efficacious setting for adolescents.

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