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Eat Disord. 2009 Mar-Apr;17(2):109-25. doi: 10.1080/10640260802714548.

Clinicians' perspectives on the premature termination of treatment in patients with eating disorders.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


In-depth interviews concerning the premature termination of treatment (PTT) were conducted with seven clinicians in an inpatient eating disorders program. Motivation to be in the program and work on recovery, and the ability to establish a trusting relationship with staff were thought to be important factors in completing treatment. Patients who are asked to leave the treatment program, termed "administrative discharge" (AD), were believed by clinicians to differ from patients who dropped out of treatment in terms of having more reasons to stay in the program. While AD was described as a stressful process, particularly when there was disagreement among team members, it was considered necessary in order to maintain a recovery-centered community milieu. These findings, their implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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