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Int J Child Adolesc health. 2009 Jan 1;2(2):243-254.

Family-Based Treatment for Adolescent Eating Disorders: Current Status, New Applications and Future Directions.

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Department of Psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ.


Family-based treatment (FBT) is emerging as a treatment of choice for adolescent anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). This paper reviews the history of FBT, core clinical and theoretical elements, and key findings from the FBT for AN and BN treatment outcome literature. In addition, we address clinical questions and controversies regarding FBT for eating disorders, including whether FBT is clinically appropriate for all adolescents (e.g., older adolescents, patients with comorbid conditions), and whether it indicated for all types of families (e.g., critical, enmeshed, and non-intact families). Finally, we outline recently manualized, innovative applications of FBT for new populations currently under early investigation, such as FBT as a preventive/early intervention for AN, FBT for young adults with eating disorders, and FBT for pediatric overweight.


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