Outcome predictors in the short-term treatment of anorexia nervosa: An integrated medical-psychiatric approach
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Objectives: Factors predicting clinical outcome in the short-term treatment of anorexia nervosa. Design: Longitudinal follow-up study. Setting: Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, “Federico II” University of Naples. Participants: Fifty-eight young anorectic women consecutively attending the outpatient Unit between January 1997 and December 2000. Main outcome measures: Body weight changes over six months’ follow-up. Results: Body weight changes in the short term was exclusively predicted by the prevalent underlying psychiatric disorder, being increased in the patients with prevalently depressive traits, decreased in those with psychotic features and unchanged in those with a prevalently narcissistic personality. Conclusions: The prevalent psychiatric disorder seems to predict clinical outcome in the short term. Body weight gain per se cannot always be the main target of medical intervention, at least in the early phase of the treatment of malnutrition secondary to major eating disorders.
Key wordsAnorexia nervosa outcome predictors medicalpsychiatric treatment weight gain psychiatric trait
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