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Care provision for patients with eating disorders in Europe: what patients get what treatment where?

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In this paper, we report on the similarities and differences between patients with eating disorders and the services provided to them across 80 centres participating in a European collaboration (COST Action B6). Differences in patient characteristics as well as differences in treatment regimen, especially length of treatment, are described. The relationship between patient characteristics, treatment setting and length of treatment is investigated by multilevel analysis. The findings show a rich diversity in service conditions and traditions across European countries. Patients with anorexia nervosa are mostly treated in inpatient settings, patients with bulimia nervosa are treated mostly as outpatients—with the exception of German‐speaking countries. Day‐patient settings were generally rare. Clinical characteristics of the patients—e.g. severity of symptoms or illness duration—contributed only little to the differences in treatment length (within as well as between centres), whereas organizational factors explained the largest proportion of between centre variability. The findings are discussed from a service research perspective. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

Keywords: Europe; anorexia nervosa; bulimia nervosa; care provision; treatment regimen

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Center for Psychotherapy Research, Stuttgart, Germany

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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