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Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • expressed emotion;
  • family-based treatment;
  • adolescents

Abstract

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between expressed emotion (EE) and outcome in family-based treatment (FBT) for anorexia nervosa (AN).

Method:

Eighty-six adolescents with AN participated in an RCT comparing two doses of FBT. Seventy-nine of these patients and their parents participated in a structured interview, from which EE ratings were made at baseline. Parents were compared on five subscales of EE as well as overall level of EE (high vs. low).

Results:

Overall EE levels were low with 32.9% of families presenting as High EE at baseline. Ratings of baseline warmth for both mothers (p = .014) and fathers (p = .037) were related to good outcome at end-of-treatment.

Discussion:

EE in parents of adolescents with AN is remarkably low. Notwithstanding, parental warmth may be a predictor of good outcome. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010