ABSTRACT

Introduction Since the 1980s, a vast and still-growing treatment and information industry has emerged within the field of eating disorders. Yet, as more and more treatment is offered to more and more people, it is still unclear why someone recovers, or does not, and what is necessary or sufficient to facilitate recovery. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (2006) issued a comprehensive report reviewing all published research on the effectiveness of treatment for eating disorders. Despite the scope of the effort, findings were relatively sparse, especially with regard to anorexia nervosa. The report noted that the literature on the treatment of eating disorders is inconsistent in quality and emphasized the urgent need for further studies to investigate novel forms of therapy, optimal duration of intervention, and approaches for those who do not respond to medication or manualbased techniques. In addition, the report mentioned the importance of qualitative studies on eating disorders treatment given the lack of reliable, clinically relevant findings in the empirical literature.