A patient-centered approach to eating disorders: summary
In applying the patient-centered approach to eating disorders, the authors have advocated a multidimensional model acknowledging the complexity and wide variability of eating disorders. Even within the broad diagnostic categories of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and atypical eating disorders, sizable subgroups differ significantly in terms of their etiologies, and their symptom presentation on physical, behavioral, cognitive, social and family dimensions. An important component of the multidimensional view is the unique experiencing of the eating disorder by the patient herself. Within the multidisciplinary approach to eating disorders, the focus is on an eclectic model and individual tailoring of treatment programs to meet the patient’s needs. The patient-centered approach provides a positive framework for understanding and guiding the management of eating disorders, one that offers renewed hope for both sufferers and their families. Given the multifactorial nature of eating disorders, the authors have also espoused a multidisciplinary model for outpatient treatment.