2017 NICE guidelines for eating disorders: The CBT-ED developed at Villa Garda Hospital is recommended for eating disorders in adolescence


Riccardo Dalle Grave

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) published a comprehensive update of the NICE guidelines for eating disorders on May 23, 2017. Guidelines [NG69] provide recommendations for identifying, evaluating, monitoring, treating and managing children’s comorbidities (0-12 years), young adults (13-17 years) and adults (over 18) with eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder).

An important novelty of the NICE guidelines was to recommend the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders (CBT-ED) for adolescents suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders as an alternative to Family Based Treatment (FBT).

The NICE’s recommendation is a source of pride for our team, because the CBT-ED for adolescents was developed in Verona and at Villa Garda, in collaboration with prof. Christopher Fairburn of the University of Oxford, and evaluated by our group in four cohort studies.

It is our hope that these new recommendations encourage health stakeholders to implement in the Italian clinical centers of eating disorders that treat adolescents the CBT-ED recommended by the new NICE guidelines and to prepare actions to ensure that young patients in Italy may have access to these interventions whose efficacy has been demonstrated by rigorous clinical studies.

Studies carried out by the Villa Garda team who evaluated the CBT-ED for adolescents:

  1. Dalle Grave R, Calugi S, Doll HA, Fairburn CG. Enhanced cognitive behaviour therapy for adolescents with anorexia nervosa: an alternative to family therapy? Behav Res Ther. 2013;51(1):R9-R12.
  2. Calugi S, Dalle Grave R, Sartirana M, Fairburn CG. Time to restore body weight in adults and adolescents receiving cognitive behaviour therapy for anorexia nervosa. J Eat Disord. 2015;3:21.
  3. Dalle Grave R, Calugi S, El Ghoch M, Conti M, Fairburn CG. Inpatient cognitive behavior therapy for adolescents with anorexia nervosa: immediate and longer-term effects. Front Psychiatry. 2014;5:14.
  4. Dalle Grave R, Calugi S, Sartirana M, Fairburn CG. Transdiagnostic cognitive behaviour therapy for adolescents with an eating disorder who are not underweight. Behav Res Ther. 2015;73:79-82.

The complete guidelines can be downloaded from the website: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng69