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Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • inpatient treatment;
  • hospital

Abstract

Background

The chance that an anorexia nervosa patient will be hospitalized depends more on circumstantial rather than on scientifically based factors. Although there is a lot of information on the treatment of anorexia nervosa patients in a residential setting, answers to questions relating to the “when,” “where,” and “how” of treatment are subjective. There is no clinical consensus and the paucity of controlled research is hampering the development of an evidence-based practice.

Results

Increasing economic restraints through managed care policies limit the length of inpatient treatment, which leads to early discharge at a lower body weight, which leads to a higher likelihood of readmissions, which leads to increasing costs.

Discussion

We will highlight important issues in the ongoing debate between economic demands and clinical challenges. Our goal is to stimulate critical reflections and systematic research. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: 409–422, 2003.