Predictors of Good Eating Disorder Treatment Outcomes

First things first: On this Veteran’s Day, thank you, veterans and active service members, for serving!

An article in the November 2015 issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders highlights predictors of good eating disorder treatment outcomes (Vall E, Wade T Predictors of Treatment Outcome in Individuals with Eating Disorders:  A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int J Eat Disord 2015; 48:946-971).

Here are my key takeaways when it comes to predictors of good eating disorder treatment outcomes:

1. Achieving symptom reduction early in treatment is really important.

It confirms what we see in practice: Patients who see improvements early in treatment gain confidence and have better long-term outcomes.

2. Patient motivation makes a big difference and serves as one of the most important predictors.

Patients who enter treatment eager to get better, do better. Poorly motivated patients don’t fare as well – if you want to get better you are capable of it!

3. Patients with more severe symptoms or symptoms that have been in place for a long time don’t tend to do as well.

However, what we see in practice is that regardless of the severity or length of illness, for people committed to attending treatment, willing to work and to participate fully in evidence-based treatment models, a good treatment outcome is possible.