Role of therapeutic alliance in family therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa
Article first published online: 25 AUG 2006
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 39, Issue 8, pages 677–684, December 2006
How to Cite
Pereira, T., Lock, J. and Oggins, J. (2006), Role of therapeutic alliance in family therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 39: 677–684. doi: 10.1002/eat.20303
- Issue published online: 24 OCT 2006
- Article first published online: 25 AUG 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 MAR 2006
- NIH. Grant Numbers: K08 MH1457, K24 MH074467
- anorexia nervosa;
- therapeutic alliance;
- family therapy
The purpose of this study is to examine the role of therapeutic alliance in predicting treatment dropout, response and outcome in a cohort of adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN) and their families who were treated using a manualized form of family-based therapy (FBT).
Independent assessors scored early and late therapeutic alliances for patients and parents using the Working Alliance Inventory-Observer (WAIo). Outcomes were weights and scores on the subscales of the Eating Disorder Examination at the end of 12 months of FBT.
Therapeutic alliance throughout treatment was strong both for adolescents and for their parents. A strong early alliance with adolescents was associated with early treatment response in terms of weight gain. A strong early alliance with parents prevented dropout, whereas a strong late parental alliance predicted their child's total weight gain at the end of treatment.
Therapeutic alliance in both patients and parents treated with FBT is generally strong and likely contributes to treatment retention and treatment outcome. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006; 39:677–684