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Anorexia Nervosa

Child and Adolescent Disorders

II. Specific Disorders

  1. Cynthia M. Bulik1,
  2. Kimberly A. Brownley2,
  3. Jennifer R. Shapiro3,
  4. Nancy D. Berkman4

Published Online: 25 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118156391.ebcp001025

Handbook of Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Psychology

Handbook of Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Psychology

How to Cite

Bulik, C. M., Brownley, K. A., Shapiro, J. R. and Berkman, N. D. 2012. Anorexia Nervosa. Handbook of Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Psychology. 1:II:25.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of North Carolina School of Medicine

  2. 2

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  3. 3

    Santech, Inc

  4. 4

    RTI, International

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 JUN 2012


We conducted an evidence report update, employing an identical search process that had been used in an initial Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research evidence-based review of treatment for anorexia nervosa (AN). This update covers all studies published between 2005 and March 2008. In addition, we present consensus panel recommendations from the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy for Pediatrics on the treatment of anorexia nervosa. The consensus opinion is that the restoration of healthy eating and resumption of healthy weight are necessary and critical first steps in the treatment of AN, and most elements of treatment and recovery are contingent upon achieving these initial objectives; however, consensus on optimal refeeding approaches does not exist. Although cognitive behavior therapy has some support after weight restoration in adults and family-based treatment is appropriate for younger nonchronic patients, our working knowledge of effective psychotherapy treatments for AN is limited. Larger, multisite randomized controlled trials that include more diverse patient samples, employ more rigorous methodological and analytical approaches, and address the core pathology and long-term medical and psychological sequelae of AN are needed.


  • eating disorders;
  • psychotherapy;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • refeeding;
  • outcome