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Clinical Advances in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa and Related Restricting Eating Disorders

New Content ItemA great deal has been published in recent years about the treatment of anorexia nervosa and other restrictive eating disorders, and it is a matter of perspective whether one sees the glass as half full or half empty. It is beyond any doubt, however, that there are many unanswered questions about what treatments work for whom and more importantly how treatments work and how different service contexts shape treatments and contribute to their outcomes. The aim of this Special Issue in Journal of Eating Disorders is both to summarise existing knowledge and to take a forward look, raising new questions for future research. We particularly welcome papers that integrate knowledge and expertise across different fields and different theoretical domains. We invite submissions of papers in the following areas:

  • Modifications of current evidence-based treatments and/or applications to specific populations or specific settings (e.g., young adults; LGBTQ individuals and their families; different cultural and ethnic contexts; refugee families; disadvantaged families);
  • Novel treatments and their theoretical and conceptual underpinnings;
  • Pilot and feasibility studies or treatment protocols of prospective research;
  • Secondary exploratory analyses of published studies that raise new questions or new hypotheses;
  • Brain-based treatments;
  • Integrating knowledge from neuroscience with psychological models of eating disorder therapies;
  • Service transformations and its impact on implementation of treatments;
  • Scoping reviews that synthesise a specific area in treatment with view of supporting a novel treatment development;
  • Treatment developments that target specific areas of individual or family functioning that may have a maintaining role in the illness;
  • Dissemination/implementations of evidence-based practice;
  • Clinical and ethical issues of delivering treatments via telehealth;
  • Specific and common psychotherapy factors, treatment manuals, adherence and individualising treatment approaches for individuals and families.

Edited by: Prof. Dr. Ivan Eisler, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Schmidt and Prof. Dr. Daniel Le Grange

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer-review process.

  1. Findings from randomised control trials inform the development of evidence-based eating disorder (ED) practice guidelines internationally. Only recently are data beginning to emerge regarding how these treatme...

    Authors: Mima Simic, Catherine S. Stewart, Anna Konstantellou, John Hodsoll, Ivan Eisler and Julian Baudinet
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2022 10:27
  2. Eating disorders are often characterised as disabling, chronic or relapsing conditions with high mortality rates. This study reports follow-up outcomes for patients seen at the Maudsley Centre for Child and Ad...

    Authors: Catherine S. Stewart, Julian Baudinet, Alfonce Munuve, Antonia Bell, Anna Konstantellou, Ivan Eisler and Mima Simic
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2022 10:14
  3. Individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) often present with substance use and substance use disorders (SUDs). However, the prevalence of substance use and SUDs in AN has not been studied in-depth, especially the...

    Authors: Daniel J. Devoe, Gina Dimitropoulos, Alida Anderson, Anees Bahji, Jordyn Flanagan, Andrea Soumbasis, Scott B. Patten, Tom Lange and Georgios Paslakis
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:161
  4. Family-based interventions are widely recommended as a first line treatment for children and young people with Anorexia Nervosa. There is clear evidence that model-adherent delivery of specific eating disorder...

    Authors: Rachel Loomes and Rachel Bryant-Waugh
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:157
  5. A question frequently raised in the field is whether evidence-based interventions have adequate translational capacity for delivery in real-world settings where patients are presumed to be more complex, clinic...

    Authors: Kristen E. Anderson, Sara G. Desai, Rodie Zalaznik, Natalia Zielinski and Katharine L. Loeb
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:150
  6. A long duration of untreated illness (DUI) is an unfavorable prognostic factor in anorexia nervosa (AN) and is associated with chronic illness progression. Although previous preventive measures aimed at reduci...

    Authors: Laurence Reuter, Denise Kästner, Justine Schmidt, Angelika Weigel, Ulrich Voderholzer, Marion Seidel, Bianca Schwennen, Helge Fehrs, Bernd Löwe and Antje Gumz
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:144
  7. Family-based treatment (FBT) has demonstrated efficacy for anorexia nervosa (AN) in youth in randomized, controlled trials. It is important to assess if it shows a similar effectiveness when implemented in sta...

    Authors: Mette Bentz, Signe Holm Pedersen and Ulla Moslet
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:141
  8. Early relapse after inpatient treatment is a serious problem in the management of anorexia nervosa (AN). Specialized aftercare interventions have the potential to bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatien...

    Authors: Katrin E. Giel, Simone C. Behrens, Kathrin Schag, Peter Martus, Stephan Herpertz, Tobias Hofmann, Eva-Maria Skoda, Ulrich Voderholzer, Jörn von Wietersheim, Beate Wild, Almut Zeeck, Ulrike Schmidt, Stephan Zipfel and Florian Junne
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:129
  9. Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a psychiatric disorder with an ego-syntonic nature, causing many patients to perceive their AN as part of their personal identity. Therefore, an important part of treatment is the exte...

    Authors: Marthe M. Voswinkel, Cleo Rijkers, Johannes J. M. van Delden and Annemarie A. van Elburg
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:128
  10. Problems in social cognition and social support contribute to eating disorders (ED). Group therapy provides an ideal format to create an experiential learning environment focused on understanding social intera...

    Authors: Whitney Smith Hagan, Susan Mericle, Bethany J. Hunt, Jessica A. Harper, Jayme M. Palka, Sarah Pelfrey and Carrie J. McAdams
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:127
  11. It seems to be a truth universally acknowledged that pathways to care for people with eating disorders are inconsistent and difficult to navigate. This may, in part, be a result of the complex nature of the il...

    Authors: Sarah Maguire and Danielle Maloney
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:121
  12. Early response to treatment has been shown to be a predictor of later clinical outcomes in eating disorders (EDs). Specifically, early weight gain trajectories in anorexia nervosa (AN) have been shown to predi...

    Authors: A. Austin, M. Flynn, K. L. Richards, H. Sharpe, K. L. Allen, V. A. Mountford, D. Glennon, N. Grant, A. Brown, K. Mahoney, L. Serpell, G. Brady, N. Nunes, F. Connan, M. Franklin-Smith, M. Schelhase…
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:112
  13. Adult eating disorder treatments are hampered by lack of access and limited efficacy. This open-trial study evaluated the acceptability and preliminary efficacy of a novel intervention for adults with eating d...

    Authors: Stephanie Knatz Peck, Terra Towne, Christina E. Wierenga, Laura Hill, Ivan Eisler, Tiffany Brown, Emily Han, McKenzie Miller, Taylor Perry and Walter Kaye
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:110
  14. Anorexia nervosa is a complex psychiatric illness that includes severe low body weight with cognitive distortions and altered eating behaviors. Brain structures, including cortical thicknesses in many regions,...

    Authors: Brooks B. Brodrick, Adrienne L. Adler-Neal, Jayme M. Palka, Virendra Mishra, Sina Aslan and Carrie J. McAdams
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:108
  15. Anorexia Nervosa is a debilitating illness. While there have been many advancements to treatment protocols and outcomes for people with eating disorders, the field acknowledges there remains considerable room ...

    Authors: Annaleise Robertson and Chris Thornton
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:104
  16. Family-based treatment (FBT) for anorexia nervosa is an evidence-based treatment, but its effectiveness is untested among socioeconomically disadvantaged and racially diverse youth. Adapting FBT may facilitate...

    Authors: Erin C. Accurso, Karen J. Mu, John Landsverk and Joseph Guydish
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:99
  17. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a novel treatment option for people with severe enduring anorexia nervosa (SE-AN), but associated neurobiological changes are poorly understood. This stud...

    Authors: Bethan Dalton, Erica Maloney, Samantha J. Rennalls, Savani Bartholdy, Maria Kekic, Jessica McClelland, Iain C. Campbell, Ulrike Schmidt and Owen G. O’Daly
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:84
  18. Evidence suggests specialist eating disorders services for children and adolescents with anorexia nervosa have the potential to improve outcomes and reduce costs through reduced hospital admissions. This study...

    Authors: Sarah Byford, Hristina Petkova, Barbara Barrett, Tamsin Ford, Dasha Nicholls, Mima Simic, Simon Gowers, Geraldine Macdonald, Ruth Stuart, Nuala Livingstone, Grace Kelly, Jonathan Kelly, Kandarp Joshi, Helen Smith and Ivan Eisler
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:76
  19. Multi-family therapy (MFT) is a recommended treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa internationally. Despite recent significant advances in single-family therapy, the evidence base for MFT remains relatively...

    Authors: Julian Baudinet, Ivan Eisler, Mima Simic and Ulrike Schmidt
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:71
  20. Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) typically struggle in social and emotional contexts. An Integrated Group Based approach for the delivery of MANTRA - The Maudsley Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults – ...

    Authors: Helen Startup, Mary Franklin-Smith, William Barber, Nicola Gilbert, Yael Brown, Danielle Glennon, Akira Fukutomi and Ulrike Schmidt
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:70
  21. Recovery and remission rates of adolescent anorexia nervosa (AN) following Family Based Treatment (FBT) have seen a relative decline over recent years. While reasonably successful in achieving physical recover...

    Authors: Maria Ganci, Linsey Atkins and Marion E. Roberts
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:67
  22. Accumulating psychobiological data implicate reward disturbances in the persistence of anorexia nervosa (AN). Evidence suggests that individuals with AN demonstrate decision-making deficits similar to those wi...

    Authors: Ann F. Haynos, Lisa M. Anderson, Autumn J. Askew, Michelle G. Craske and Carol B. Peterson
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:63
  23. A major barrier to long-term recovery from anorexia nervosa (AN) are early and frequent relapses after inpatient treatment. There is an urgent need for enhanced continuity of specialized care involving effecti...

    Authors: Katrin Elisabeth Giel, Peter Martus, Kathrin Schag, Stephan Herpertz, Tobias Hofmann, Antonius Schneider, Martin Teufel, Ulrich Voderholzer, Jörn von Wietersheim, Beate Wild, Almut Zeeck, Wolfgang Bethge, Ulrike Schmidt, Stephan Zipfel and Florian Junne
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:61
  24. This paper addresses patients` and families` experience of multifamily therapy (MFT) for young adults (18–22) with an eating disorder (ED). EDs are serious illnesses leading to lowered quality of life for the ...

    Authors: Berit Støre Brinchmann and Sanja Krvavac
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:56
  25. Family-Based Treatment (FBT) is considered the first-line intervention for adolescent anorexia nervosa. However, access to this treatment is limited. Treatment programs for other pediatric mental health condit...

    Authors: Jocelyn Lebow, Angela Mattke, Cassandra Narr, Paige Partain, Renee Breland, Janna R. Gewirtz O’Brien, Jennifer Geske, Marcie Billings, Matthew M. Clark, Robert M. Jacobson, Sean Phelan, Cynthia Harbeck-Weber, Daniel Le Grange and Leslie Sim
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:55
  26. Anorexia nervosa is a severe illness with a high mortality rate, driven in large part by severe and persistent restriction of food intake. A critical challenge is to identify brain mechanisms associated with m...

    Authors: Karin Foerde, B. Timothy Walsh, Maya Dalack, Nathaniel Daw, Daphna Shohamy and Joanna E. Steinglass
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:48
  27. Carers of people with eating disorders (EDs) are known to experience a lack of support, high levels of unmet needs and resulting distress. Specific support and interventions for carers may benefit both the car...

    Authors: Emma Kinnaird, Madeleine Oakley, Vanessa Lawrence, Sukhi Shergill and Kate Tchanturia
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:42
  28. The treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN) is often challenging due to medical complications as well as high relapse and mortality rates. Studies about effective treatment options for people with AN are particular...

    Authors: Tanja Wittek, Stefanie Truttmann, Michael Zeiler, Julia Philipp, Ellen Auer-Welsbach, Doris Koubek, Susanne Ohmann, Sonja Werneck-Rohrer, Petra Sackl-Pammer, Gabriele Schöfbeck, Dunja Mairhofer, Leonie Kahlenberg, Ulrike Schmidt, Andreas F. K. Karwautz and Gudrun Wagner
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:33