Subjective evaluation of outpatient treatment for adolescent patients with anorexia nervosa

  • Charlotte JaiteEmail author
  • Antje Pfeiffer
  • Ernst Pfeiffer
  • Claudia Thurn
  • Tobias Bierbaum
  • Sibylle Maria Winter
  • Ulrike Lehmkuhl
  • Harriet Salbach
Original Article



The current study investigates determinants of treatment evaluation by adolescent outpatients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and the accordance with their parents’ and psychotherapists’ evaluation.

Sampling and methods

The sample included 50 female adolescent outpatients (mean age: 16.9 ± 1.8) with AN (DSM-IV). They were randomly assigned to either cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) or dialectical-behavior therapy (DBT). Before (T1) and after treatment (T2) diagnostic interviews as well as self-report questionnaires were administered measuring eating disorder-specific and general psychopathology. The subjective evaluation of the therapy was assessed by a self-report questionnaire. Data on the evaluation of treatment of 42 parents were considered as well as treatment evaluations of the therapists for 48 patients.


Our results revealed significant correlations of treatment satisfaction between parents and therapists, whereas patients and therapists as well as patients and parents did not agree in their treatment evaluation. The change in body mass index (BMI) was a significant predictor of the patients’ treatment satisfaction.


Adolescent patients displaying high severity of AN at the beginning of treatment put little emphasis on the importance of body weight even after treatment. Satisfaction ratings of this special group of patients could be heavily distorted and have to be interpreted carefully.

Level of evidence

Level I, randomized controlled trial.


Anorexia nervosa Adolescents CBT, cognitive-behavior therapy DBT, dialectical-behavior therapy Treatment satisfaction 



This project was supported by the Stiftung RTL–Wir helfen Kindern e.V. The authors wish to thank the adolescents and their families who participated in the project.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declared no conflicting interests.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the university’s Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte Jaite
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antje Pfeiffer
    • 1
  • Ernst Pfeiffer
    • 1
  • Claudia Thurn
    • 2
  • Tobias Bierbaum
    • 1
  • Sibylle Maria Winter
    • 1
  • Ulrike Lehmkuhl
    • 1
  • Harriet Salbach
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryCharité-Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Center for Chronic Sick ChildrenCharité-Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of Clinical PsychologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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