Predicting Relapse Among Anorexia Nervosa Patients

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
January/February 2005 Volume 16, Number 1
©2005 Gürze Books

In an ongoing study, Canadian researchers have reported preliminary findings underscoring the fact that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients are highly susceptible to relapse. In addition, the authors reported that it may be possible to identify individuals who are particularly susceptible to relapse, and to intervene with treatment. As Jacqueline C. Carter, PhD, and her colleagues at Toronto General Hospital reported at the recent Eating Disorders Research Society meeting in Amsterdam, the strongest baseline predictors of relapse were higher residual concerns about weight and shape, current obsessive-compulsive disorder, depressive symptoms, excessive exercise, avoidant coping skills, and negative stressful life events after discharge from the hospital. Thus far, 54 of 57 AN patients whose weight was restored with inpatient treatment have been assessed prospectively at 3-month intervals for 24 months after discharge. Five patients have dropped out of the study. To date, the relapse rate is 31.3% (15 of 48 patients), and the mean time to relapse is 15 months.

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