Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a severe and deadly illness with significant medical and psychosocial consequences and a mortality rate among the highest of all psychiatric disorders. While many patients with AN recover with treatment, approximately 20-25% experience a chronic form of illness, referred to as severe and enduring AN (SE-AN). Although the classification of SE-AN remains preliminary and controversial, common criteria for SE-AN include lengthy illness duration and history of multiple treatment interventions that have not resulted in sustained recovery.
Existing treatment approaches for AN may not be effective for individuals with a severe, chronic form of the illness. In response, there have increasingly been calls for an alternative approach to the treatment of SE-AN from a chronic illness perspective. Suggested approaches include: widening of treatment goals to include improvement in quality of life and psychosocial functioning, adopting a collaborative stance with less focus on weight restoration, and novel behavioral and pharmacological interventions.
This presentation will focus on innovative approaches to treatment for SE-AN. Dr. Rebecca Boswell, PhD, will share about the process of adapting research on SE-AN to clinical practice at the Princeton Center for Eating Disorders in NJ, USA. She will discuss the components of the PCED program’s SE-AN treatment protocol and will share early clinical outcomes of their SE-AN treatment research initiatives.