Course and Outcomes of Eating Disorders
It is estimated that nearly one-half of patients with anorexia
nervosa recover, 33 percent improve somewhat, and 20 percent remain
chronically ill. Numerous studies have attempted to identify predictors
of the course and recovery of anorexia nervosa, but these findings have
been contradictory and unclear.
Similar to anorexia nervosa, approximately 50 percent of bulimic
individuals recover, 30 percent improve somewhat, and 20 percent
continue to meet full criteria for bulimia nervosa. Long-term followup
studies suggest that only 10 percent of bulimic individuals continue to
fully meet diagnostic criteria after 10 years of the illness.
Duration of symptoms and level of personality disturbance may predict
a more negative outcome in bulimia nervosa. Furthermore, there is some
evidence to suggest that cognitive behavioral therapy may speed recovery
from the disorder.
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