Eating Disorders and Obesity: A Comprehensive Handbook

By Christopher G. Fairburn; Kelly D. Brownell | Go to book overview

52
Eating Disorder Services
ALLAN S. KAPLAN In devising comprehensive specialized programs in the new millennium to treat patients with eating disorders, it is important for health care administrators and providers to attend to the organization of services so that available resources are utilized in the most expedient and cost-effective manner. In particular, attention needs to be paid to the philosophical and conceptual characteristics of such programs, their clinical and educational components, their role in advocacy, and their administrative structure. This chapter addresses each of these characteristics in turn. More detailed consideration of many of these topics may be found in subsequent chapters in this book.
CONCEPTUAL CHARACTERISTICS
The ideal comprehensive treatment program for eating disorders should have the following characteristics:
1. The program should be multidisciplinary. Because of the complex nature of eating disorders, a multidimensional–multidisciplinary treatment approach is required in order to provide competent care. Ideally, the members of the multidisciplinary team should be clinicians who have experience treating patients with severe and persistent mental illness. The team should include a psychiatrist trained in the assessment and treatment of patients with the full range of eating disorders (viz., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and atypical eating disorders), including their medical management. The nonmedical clinicians should include psychologists trained in those evidence-based psychotherapies, both group and individual, known to be effective in the treatment of eating disorders; a nutritionist experienced in the nutritional care of these patients; a social worker experienced in working with the families of patients with eating disorders; an occupational therapist skilled in the psychosocial rehabilitation of patients with anorexia nervosa and bulimia

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