Meta-analysis on the efficacy of psychological treatments for anorexia nervosa

Elske van den Berg, Laura Houtzager, Jasmijn de Vos, Inge Daemen, Georgia Katsaragaki, Eirini Karyotaki, Pim Cuijpers, Jack Dekker

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This meta-analysis examines the efficacy of recently developed psychological treatments for anorexia nervosa, compared with control condition. Outcome criteria are weight gain, eating disorder pathology, and quality of life. Method: Twelve thousand nine hundred ninety-seven abstracts, published between 1980 and 2017, were retrieved. End-of-treatment data from 1,279 participants, from 15 of 17 eligible studies, were used to calculate pooled-effect sizes (Hedges' g) for outcome using random-effects model. Subgroup analyses were used to explore the influence of various patient and study characteristics. Results: No significant differences between psychological treatment and controls were found on weight gain, g = 0.07, 95% CI [−0.09, 0.23], eating disorder pathology, g = 0.06, 95% CI [−0.10, 0.21], and quality of life, g = −0.11, 95% CI [−0.36, 0.15]. Studies including only patients over 18 years of age were more effective on weight gain than studies including adolescents as well. High-quality studies and studies with reported therapist training had larger effects on weight gain and quality of life compared with low-quality studies and studies without reported training. Conclusions: Despite progress in the development of specialized treatments, the efficacy of psychological treatment over an active control condition could not be established. Outcomes, however, are obscured by low-quality and heterogeneous studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-351
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Fingerprint

Anorexia Nervosa
Weight Gain
Meta-Analysis
Psychology
Quality of Life
Pathology
Therapeutics
Feeding and Eating Disorders

Keywords

  • anorexia nervosa
  • control condition
  • efficacy
  • meta-analysis
  • psychological treatment

Cite this

van den Berg, Elske ; Houtzager, Laura ; de Vos, Jasmijn ; Daemen, Inge ; Katsaragaki, Georgia ; Karyotaki, Eirini ; Cuijpers, Pim ; Dekker, Jack. / Meta-analysis on the efficacy of psychological treatments for anorexia nervosa. In: European Eating Disorders Review. 2019 ; Vol. 27, No. 4. pp. 331-351.
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Meta-analysis on the efficacy of psychological treatments for anorexia nervosa. / van den Berg, Elske; Houtzager, Laura; de Vos, Jasmijn; Daemen, Inge; Katsaragaki, Georgia; Karyotaki, Eirini; Cuijpers, Pim; Dekker, Jack.

In: European Eating Disorders Review, Vol. 27, No. 4, 01.07.2019, p. 331-351.

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - Objective: This meta-analysis examines the efficacy of recently developed psychological treatments for anorexia nervosa, compared with control condition. Outcome criteria are weight gain, eating disorder pathology, and quality of life. Method: Twelve thousand nine hundred ninety-seven abstracts, published between 1980 and 2017, were retrieved. End-of-treatment data from 1,279 participants, from 15 of 17 eligible studies, were used to calculate pooled-effect sizes (Hedges' g) for outcome using random-effects model. Subgroup analyses were used to explore the influence of various patient and study characteristics. Results: No significant differences between psychological treatment and controls were found on weight gain, g = 0.07, 95% CI [−0.09, 0.23], eating disorder pathology, g = 0.06, 95% CI [−0.10, 0.21], and quality of life, g = −0.11, 95% CI [−0.36, 0.15]. Studies including only patients over 18 years of age were more effective on weight gain than studies including adolescents as well. High-quality studies and studies with reported therapist training had larger effects on weight gain and quality of life compared with low-quality studies and studies without reported training. Conclusions: Despite progress in the development of specialized treatments, the efficacy of psychological treatment over an active control condition could not be established. Outcomes, however, are obscured by low-quality and heterogeneous studies.

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