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Open Trial of Family-Based Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa for Transition Age Youth.

  • Author(s): Dimitropoulos, Gina
  • Landers, Ashley L
  • Freeman, Victoria
  • Novick, Jason
  • Garber, Andrea
  • Le Grange, Daniel
  • et al.


This pilot study conducted an open trial of a manualized adaptation to Family-Based Treatment for Transition Age Youth (FBT-TAY) for Anorexia Nervosa (AN). The aims were: (1) determine the acceptability of FBT for TAY; and, (2) establish preliminary effect sizes for the impact of FBT-TAY on eating disorder behaviour and weight restoration.


Twenty-six participants across two paediatric and one adult hospital site were recruited to participate. Participants completed the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) at the start of treatment, the end-of-treatment, and three-month follow-up.


FBT-TAY is an acceptable and feasible treatment to all study therapists as evidenced by their fidelity to the model. FBT-TAY is a feasible and acceptable intervention to transition age youth, given only 27.27% chose treatment as usual over FBT-TAY. Participants presented significant improvement at end-of-treatment and three-months post-treatment (p < .001; ES = 0.34) from baseline on the EDE-Q Global Score. Participants also achieved and maintained weight restoration at the end-of-treatment and three-months post-treatment when compared to baseline (p < .0001, ES = 0.54).


FBT-TAY, the first manualized AN treatment for TAY, demonstrated feasibility and acceptability with therapists and participants as well as improvement for participants in EDE-Q global score and weight. Given the current dearth of effective treatments for TAY with AN, FBT-TAY is a promising adaptation of FBT. A larger clinical trial with a 12-month follow-up is recommended.

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