A transcultural outcome study of adolescent eating disorders


Hand-Christoph Steinhausen, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Zürich, Neumünsterallee, Postfach, CH—8032 Zürich, Switzerland


Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the treatment and outcome of adolescent eating disorders in an international study including Western and Eastern European clinical and research centres. Method: A total of 138 patients with adolescent onset of an eating disorder (primarily anorexia nervosa) were followed up after a mean interval of 5 years after first admission. Results: On average, the patients had spent 25% of the total follow-up period in either in-patient or out-patient treatment. Half of them required a second hospitalization and a quarter required a third hospitalization for the eating disorder. At follow-up, 68% of the total sample did not have an eating disorder. The prediction of outcome revealed different patterns of risk variables depending on the type of criterion. Conclusion: The outcome of adolescent eating disorders is relatively similar across cultures, and better than in patients with later onset of the disorder.