Recommendation ID

Duration and intensity of psychological treatment:- What is the effectiveness of treating eating disorders with psychological treatments of reduced duration and reduced intensity, compared with standard treatment?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why is this important:- The psychological treatments currently recommended consist of a high number of sessions (typically between 20 and 40) delivered over a long period of time. Attending a high number of sessions is a major commitment for a person with an eating disorder and a large cost for services.
People may be able to achieve remission with a smaller number of sessions or over a shorter period of time.
Randomised controlled trials of the psychological treatments recommended in this guideline should be carried out to compare whether a reduced number of sessions or a less intensive course is as effective as the recommended number. Primary outcome measures could include:
- remission
- binge eating
- compensatory behaviours
- weight or BMI (for studies of anorexia nervosa).
There should be at least a 1-year follow up. Mediating and moderating factors that have an effect on treatment effectiveness should also be measured, so that treatment barriers can be addressed and positive factors can be promoted.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Eating disorders: recognition and treatment
Date issued
May 2017

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 31/05/2017