Managing Transitions in the Treatment of Eating Disorders

  • Philip S. Crockett


  • Increased awareness of the threats, stresses and risks posed to all patients by change—or TRANSITION—is even more crucial in the case of patients suffering from eating disorders.

  • Service transitions in eating disorders often occur at times of great life change and upheaval and at developmentally vulnerable times

  • Transitions can be usefully analysed in terms of the personal, treatment and organisational dimensions of the transitions involved

  • There is evidence that people with anorexia find it particularly difficult to accommodate to change: this may reflect personality traits but is certainly worsened by starvation


Philip S. Crockett

is a Consultant Psychiatrist who leads on specialist therapies and the outpatient eating disorder service at the Royal Cornhill Hospital Aberdeen.


  1. 1.
    NHS Quality Improvement Scotland. Eating disorders in Scotland: recommendations for management and treatment. Edinburgh: NHS Quality Improvement Scotland; 2006.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Muñoz-Solomando A, Townley M, Williams R. Improving transitions for young people who move from child and adolescent mental health services to mental health services for adults: lessons from research and young peopleʼs and practitionersʼ experiences. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2010;23(4):311–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Treasure J. Mind the gap: service transition and interface problems for patients with eating disorders. Br J Psychiatry. 2005;187(5):398–400.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Winston A, Paul M, Juanola-Borrat Y. The same but different? Treatment of anorexia nervosa in adolescents and adults. Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2011;20(2):89–93.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Student Minds. University challenge-integrated care for eating disorders at home and university. Oxford: Student Minds; 2014.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Keys A, Brozek J, Henschel A, Mickleson O, Taylor HL. The biology of human starvation. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press; 1950.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tchanturia K, Morris R, Surguladze S, Treasure J. An examination of perceptual and cognitive set shifting tasks in acute anorexia nervosa and following recovery. Eat Weight Disord. 2002;7(4):312–5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lopez C, Tchanturia K, Stahl D, Booth R, Holliday J, Treasure J. An examination of the concept of central coherence in women with anorexia nervosa. Int J Eat Disord. 2008;41(2):143.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bruch H. Eating disorders: obesity, anorexia nervosa and the person within. New York, NY: Basic Books; 1973.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tchanturia K, Davies H, Campbell IC. Cognitive remediation therapy for patients with anorexia nervosa: preliminary findings. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2007;6:14.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Paul M, Ford T, Kramer T, Islam Z, Harley K, Singh S. Transfers and transitions between child and adult mental health services. Br J Psychiatry. 2013;202(s54):s36–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Paykel ES. Life events and affective disorders. Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl. 2003;418:61–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Viggiano T, Pincus H, Crystal S. Care transition interventions in mental health. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2012;25(6):551–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    American Psychological Association. Transition youth with serious mental illness. Washington, DC: PI Government Relations Office; 2008.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jencks S. Defragmenting care. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(11):757.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lock J, Le Grange D, Agras W, Moye A, Bryson S, Jo B. Randomized clinical trial comparing family-based treatment with adolescent-focused individual therapy for adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67(10):1025.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Coleman E, Parry C, Chalmers S, Min S. The care transitions intervention. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(17):1822.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ayton A, Meads G. The implementation of the care programme approach in the West Midlands CAMHS. Int J Clin Lead. 2012;17:185.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Baete Kenyon D, Silverberg Koerner S. Examining emerging-adults’ and parents’ expectations about autonomy during the transition to college. J Adoles Res. 2009;24(3):293–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Tuchman L, Slap G, Britto M. Transition to adult care: experiences and expectations of adolescents with a chronic illness. Child Care Health Dev. 2008;34(5):557–63.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eating Disorder ServiceRoyal Cornhill Hospital, NHS GrampianAberdeenUK

Personalised recommendations