Predictors of dropout and remission in family therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa in a randomized clinical trial

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Abstract

Objective:

The purpose of this study is to explore the predictors of dropout and remission in the treatment of adolescent anorexia nervosa (AN) using family therapy.

Method:

Data derived from a randomized clinical trial comparing short and long term family therapy for adolescents with AN were used. A rotated component analysis was employed to reduce the number of variables and to address problems of collinearity and multiple testing. Dropout was defined as participating in less than 80% of the assigned therapy. Participants were classified as remitted if they obtained an ideal body weight greater than 95% and a global eating disorder Examination score within two standard deviations of community norms at the end of 12 months.

Results:

Co-morbid psychiatric disorder and being randomized to longer treatment predicted greater dropout. The presence of co-morbid psychiatric disorder, being older, and problematic family behaviors led to lower rates of remission. A reduction of child behavioral symptoms, a decline in problematic family behaviors, and early weight gain were all within treatment changes that increased the chance of remission.

Conclusion:

Co-morbid psychiatric disorder, family behaviors, and early response to treatment are important factors when predicting dropout and remission in family therapy for adolescent AN. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006; 39:639–647

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