Objectives of review. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on treatment interventions for anorexia nervosa (AN). These interventions cover psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, medical management, and psychiatric management.
Summary of recent findings. There are few randomized controlled clinical trials for treatment of AN. A multidimensional treatment including a physician, a psychiatrist, an experienced eating disorder therapist and a registered dietician is recommended. Family therapy for adolescent AN patients is beneficial. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is most useful and serotonin reuptake inhibitors are helpful for preventing relapse.
Future directions. There is a problem with AN patients accepting treatment and being motivated to give up their illness. Developing therapeutic strategies that address motivation as well as innovative interventions that may affect the anorectic’s sense of confidence and security with interpersonal problems and other life issues are needed. Large, collaborative randomized controlled trials (RCTs) will not give meaningful information if patients refuse to participate and the dropout rate remains high.