Tuesday, October 05, 2010
The study results are in!
And they're clear and well-supported: For teenagers with anorexia nervosa, the first-line treatment should be family-based treatment (FBT), also known as the Maudsley approach.
I think the days of FBT being labeled as a marginal, alternative, or "very special" treatment for "very special families" are officially over. For a high percentage of teens with anorexia, FBT works--they recover, and they stay recovered.
Does it work for every single family? Nope. But then neither does chemotherapy, or penicillin, or other mainstream treatments we don't question. (For an inside look at how it worked for our family, see my new book, Brave Girl Eating.)
Now, the hard part: Training enough FBT therapists so that more families have access to them. Luckily, someone's already on the case.
We still need more research. We still need better techniques. But there's no question that this is big news, and important news, for families and clinicians.
Big congratulations to Dr. Daniel le Grange and Dr. James Lock, who co-authored the study.