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J Psychiatr Res. 1985;19(2-3):509-14.

The treatment and outcome of anorexia nervosa in adolescents: a prospective study and five year follow-up.


This study reports the treatment and five year follow-up of 25 adolescent (mean age 14.9 yr) anorexics seen early in their illness (mean duration 8.08 months) and fulfilling Feighner's criteria. Results are reported along four parameters at treatment termination and at follow-up; weight, menstrual function, eating patterns and social life. At follow-up 76% are rated as excellent or good, 16% fair or continuing in treatment and 8% as relapsed. This represents a significant improvement over results at treatment termination. It is concluded that anorexia nervosa in adolescence can have a good outcome for the majority but it is undemonstrated which are the crucial variables regarding treatment modalities and patient selection nor did any clear prognostic factors emerge. A hypothesis regarding the therapeutic effect of the follow-up is suggested.

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