Developing Clinical Guidelines for Dietitians Treating Young People with Anorexia Nervosa - Family Focused Approach Working Alongside Family Therapists
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O’Connor G, Oliver A, Corbett J and Fuller S. (also acknowledges: Sally Burne and Lucy Gardner OHFT)Developing Clinical Guidelines for Dietitians Treating Young People with Anorexia Nervosa - Family Focused Approach Working Alongside Family Therapists. Ann Nutr Disord & Ther. 2019; 6(1): 1056. .
Introduction: Family therapy for the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa (AN) in an outpatient setting is the evidenced based model of care. Nutritional intervention is an essential component in the treatment of AN particularly in adolescent who pose an increased risk due to high energy requirements relating to pubertal growth. The NHS England transformation strategy for mental health (2015) outlined targets to improve clinical skills specifically to meet the needs of young people with AN. Our aim was to develop clinical guidelines for dietitians working alongside family therapists treating young people with AN, ensuring evidence-based standardisation of care amongst providers of eating disorder services across England. Method: Expert stakeholder meetings were held to formulate content of the dietetic component of the eating disorders national training, ensuring alignment with the family therapy treatment model. In 2017, the national training was delivered at key hub sites across England. Post national training an expert working group was established, comprising of eating disorders clinicians recruited from specialist interests groups to expand on the content delivered at national training and develop clinical guidelines for dietitians. Result: Twenty specialist eating disorders clinicians contributed to the guidelines, formatted into three treatment phases to reflect family therapy models of care. The clinical guidelines have been endorsed by the British Dietetic Association. Discussion: These guidelines provide best available evidence-based practice for dietitians treating young people with AN with a family focused approach. Working in conjugation with the therapy team will ensure appropriate challenging of AN behaviors and optimise nutritional intake.