Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A new analysis, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, has shown a lack of strong evidence to support current guidance on psychological therapies for treating anorexia nervosa over expert treatment as usual.

The findings highlight a need for further research and support a call for individual trial data to be made available so the benefits of treatments in specific patient populations can be better understood.

Building on a previous study from 2018 and conducted by an international team of researchers, the analysis included 16 randomised controlled trials and a total of 1,049 patients. The trials compared psychological therapies to treatment as usual in adults receiving outpatient treatment for anorexia. The trials measured eating disorder symptoms, body-mass index (BMI) and drop-out rate.

The analysis found some therapies to have modest benefit to patients. However, the therapies, currently recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and in clinical guidelines internationally, were not shown to differ significantly from expert treatment as usual.

Read the full story on the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre.

Read the full paper, Comparative efficacy and acceptability of psychological interventions for the treatment of adult outpatients with anorexia nervosa: a systematic review and network meta-analysis.

Similar stories

Healthy Start, Happy Start Study

Research Highlights

Healthy Start, Happy start is a randomised controlled trial that tested the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of a brief parenting programme - Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD).

New Way of Understanding Dissociation Could Improve Patient Care

Research Highlights

New research has developed a novel measure of dissociative experiences that share a subjective 'felt sense of anomaly'. This new approach could revolutionise how clinicians understand dissociative experiences across a range of mental health disorders, and how they work with patients with dissociation in the future.

Capturing immune cells that colonise the brain to prevent disease progression in multiple sclerosis

Research Highlights

Researchers have revealed a disease-causing population of immune cells, which travel to the brain in patients with multiple sclerosis. They demonstrate how to trap these cells in the blood, which means they can be targeted to prevent disease progression.

How the brain reorganises old memories when new ones are made

Research Highlights

Researchers have discovered that the arrangement of existing memories in the brain is altered when we embed new memories

Improving Experiences of People with Serious Mental Health Problems

Research Highlights

A project led by Professor Kam Bhui and Dr Roisin Mooney, University of Oxford, will focus on reducing the number of people admitted or readmitted to compulsory care under the Mental Health Act. This is one of four new research projects funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) with the aim to improve patient experiences and outcomes under the Mental Health Act.