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p107 paper - Michael Yu 89376795 Anorexia Nervosa...

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Michael Yu 89376795 Anorexia Nervosa – Treatments and Their Effectiveness Introduction Anorexia Nervosa is a serious health problem facing many people in America today. With a “substantial morbidity and a lifetime mortality arguably as high as that associated with any psychiatric illness”, anorexia cannot be ignored and thought of as a trivial disease (Walsh 1). Anorexia is defined as having a body mass index of under 17.5, which basically means a person is far too malnourished for their height and age (McIntosh 1). There have been various treatments for anorexia, the most prominent being intervention with the help of the family and friends. The other option is inpatient treatment with hospitalization. The problem with anorexia, however, does not lie in the treatment; the problem lies in the relapse. In fact, even when patients recover and are at a healthy weight, “30-50% of patients require rehospitilization within 1 year”, showing that there needs to be a treatment after the treatment to ensure full recovery (Walsh 1). In three separate studies, a total of four different post-recovery treatments are tested. These studies have shown that the while fluoxetine, which is regularly prescribed, has no effect (Walsh), and that the best post-recovery treatments are cognitive behavior therapy (Pike) and nonspecific supportive clinical management (McIntosh).
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Walsh, T. et al (2006). Fluoxetine After Weight Restoration in Anorexia Nervosa: A Randomized Controlled Trial, *Journal of the American Medical Association, 225* Objective – The objective of this study is to determine whether or not giving recovering anorexic patients fluoextine, a drug usually prescribed for those with depression, would promote recovery and deter relapse. Methods – This study used 93 females between the ages of 16 and 45 who were diagnosed with anorexia nervosa according to the DSM-IV. Once selected, they were randomly put into two groups: one who received fluoxetine and one who received a placebo. These two groups were very similar in every other aspect as to not skew results. Along with these two medications, patients also underwent 50 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy, each lasting 45 minutes. If at any time a patient was deemed to be in danger, they were terminated from the treatment. At the end of the treatment, which lasted approximately one year, the results would be calculated in terms of how many patients relapsed into anorexia. Results – Forty of the starting patients made it through the whole treatment and 53 dropped out prematurely. The causes of dropping out were mainly health reasons and patient discontent with the treatment. Depending on the classification of drop-outs, the results differed but there was no significant difference between the fluoxetine group and the placebo group. Discussion
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p107 paper - Michael Yu 89376795 Anorexia Nervosa...

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