UPDATE: Treating Young Anorectic Patients at Home
Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
September/October 2006 Volume 17, Number 5
©2006 Gürze Books
A pilot program in France offers a new approach to treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN) for younger patients—treatment at home. In 2003, staff members at Robert Debré Hospital, Paris, developed this special service as an alternative for patients 15 years of age or younger with moderate and severe AN. Home treatment is also offered to AN patients when they are discharged from the hospital, as a way to prevent relapse. The at-home treatment approach has been embraced by Debré Hospital staff. In 2004, 24 patients with AN (mean age: 13.8 years) were followed with inpatient treatment and 21 newly diagnosed patients (mean age: 11.4 years) were followed in outpatient treatment at home. Catherine Doyen, MD, a pediatric and adolescent psychiatrist who treated the children at home, presented a poster of the study at the recent International Conference on Eating Disorders in Barcelona. Dr. Doyen's treatment team also included pediatric nurses who monitored somatic signs, dietitians and a family therapist. Dr. Doyen reported that the results have been very positive, and most families endorsed the at-home system. Two families felt it was "intrusive," and one prepubertal patient developed tantrums and acted out against her nurses.