Treating eating disorders in primary care

Pamela M. Williams*, Jeffrey Goodie, Charles D. Motsinger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Binge-eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa are potentially life-threatening disorders that involve complex psychosocial issues. A strong therapeutic relationship between the physician and patient is necessary for assessing the psychosocial and medical factors used to determine the appropriate level of care. Most patients can be effectively treated in the outpatient setting by a health care team that includes a physician, a registered dietitian, and a therapist. Psychiatric consultation may be beneficial. Patients may require inpatient care if they are suicidal or have life-threatening medical complications, such as marked bradycardia, hypotension, hypothermia, severe electrolyte disturbances, endorgan compromise, or weight below 85 percent of their healthy body weight. For the treatment of binge-eating disorder and bulimia nervosa, good evidence supports the use of interpersonal and cognitive behavior therapies, as well as antidepressants. Limited evidence supports the use of guided self-help programs as a first step in a stepped-care approach to these disorders. For patients with anorexia nervosa, the effectiveness of behavioral or pharmacologic treatments remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-195+196-197
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Volume77
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2008

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Treating eating disorders in primary care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this