The Role of Weight Suppression in Intensive Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa: A Longitudinal Study
Calugi, S., Dalle Grave, A., Conti, M., Dametti, L., Chimini, M., & Dalle Grave, R. (2023). The Role of Weight Suppression in Intensive Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa: A Longitudinal Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(4), 3221. Full Text
The study aimed to establish the role of weight suppression in a cohort of adolescents with anorexia nervosa treated with intensive enhanced cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-E). One hundred and twenty-eight adolescent patients with anorexia nervosa (128 females and 2 males), aged between 14 and 19 years, were recruited from consecutive referrals to a community-based eating disorder clinic offering intensive CBT-E. Weight, height, Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire, and Brief Symptom Inventory scores were recorded at admission, end-of-treatment, and at a 20-week follow-up. In addition, the developmental weight suppression (DWS, difference between one’s highest premorbid and current z-BMI, i.e., BMI z-scores) was calculated. The mean baseline z-BMI was −4.01 (SD = 2.27), and the mean DWS was 4.2 (SD = 2.3). One hundred and seven patients (83.4%) completed the treatment and showed both considerable weight gain and reduced scores for eating-disorder and general psychopathology. Among completers, 72.9% completed the 20-week follow-up and maintained the improvement reached at the end-of-treatment. DWS was negatively correlated with end-of-treatment and follow-up z-BMI. This indicates that weight suppression is a predictor of the BMI outcome of intensive CBT-E and confirms that this treatment is promising for adolescents with anorexia nervosa.