Lots of buzz this week about a new study that appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry this week which confirms what many Maudsley and Family-Based Treatment (FBT) proponents have been saying: FBT is not only effective for anorexia recovery in teens, it is fast being thought of as a gold-standard in anorexia recovery.
In fact, in a randomized-controlled study, researchers at Stanford University and the University of Chicago found that FBT leads to a faster, more complete, recovery that adolescent-focsed individual therapy. Results showed that recovery rates were nearly twice as high for the patients in the FBT groups, and that patients in FBT also gained weight faster and showed great improvement in attitudes and behaviors surrounding food. Forty-two percent of patients receiving FBT recovered, compared with 23% of those receiving individual therapy.
Another key finding: at both six-month and one-year follow-ups, the FBT group retained a higher number of patients in full remission than did the control group, and the percent of relapse for the FBT group was only 10 percent, compared to 40 percent in individual treatment.
This is indeed a very important study, and sorely needed in a field where anorexia treatment and research has been lacking by many accounts.
You can hear a summary of the study as well as some of my own thoughts, in this clip from npr news:
And you can read more coverage of the study here:
Lastly, allow me to take this relevant opportunity to draw you attention to a new FBT resource that tells the story of one family's journey of recovery from anorexia using FBT. Brave Girl Eating is indeed a brave account as told by journalist Harriet Brown. Harriet eloquently shares the often agonizing trials of anorexia as well as the triumphs of FBT. This first-hand account goes far in illuminating the FBT approach, as does the invaluable website co-founded by Harriet MaudsleyParents.org
Visit their website for comprehensive details about family-based treatment.