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Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • chronic eating disorder;
  • follow-up;
  • outcome;
  • in-patient treatment

Abstract

Objective:

The objectives of this article were to study the course and outcome of longstanding eating disorders (ED) 5 years after completing treatment and to identify subgroups of patients with different course and outcome.

Method:

A total of 77 patients with a mean age of 30 years were assessed at the beginning and end of in-patient therapy and at 1-, 2- and 5-year follow-up, respectively.

Results:

Of the 90% who participated in the 5-year follow-up, 46 patients (61%) had improved, and 30 (39%) did not meet diagnostic criteria for an ED. Cluster analysis identified a group of patient with no improvement over time.

Conclusion:

Overall, the course is favourable, but a subgroup of patients with no improvement over time may need intensified treatment efforts. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord, 2008