"The best therapy for teenagers with bulimia is different than the one for adults, according to the first large study to provide a head-to-head comparison of two well-regarded treatments for adolescents with the eating disorder.
Conducted by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of Chicago, the study also shows that teens’ families can play a big role in helping them recover from bulimia.
The findings were published online Sept. 17 in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
“We have very little information about how best to address bulimia in adolescents, and have been depending on what we know about the efficacy of treatment in adults,” said co-lead author James Lock, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford. But teens with bulimia have different needs and less-entrenched illness than adults, he added
At the end of six months of treatment, adolescents who received family-based therapy were more likely to have stopped their abnormal eating behaviors than those who received the standard treatment for adults, the study found. The difference between therapies persisted six months after treatment ended."
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