Many anorexic teens get intensive one-on-one therapy, but a new study from the University of Chicago finds involving families leads to a faster and more complete recovery.
The four-year study of more than 100 adolescents with anorexia found that the recovery rates of teens in family therapy were almost twice that of those in individual treatment.
And it found that those in family-based treatment also did better in how they thought about and dealt with food.
Family involvement can be quite intense, with parents coaching the patients at meal times, monitoring exercise and in other ways urging healthy behaviors.
Stanford University was also involved in this study, and it brings into question the past practice of treating teens individually, due to concerns that parents would hurt more than help.