Implementation of Dialectical Behavior Therapy in a Day Hospital Setting for Adolescents with Eating Disorders.
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Objective: This article discusses the implementation and preliminary outcomes of a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) informed program integrated with Family Based Therapy (FBT) for adolescents with eating disorders within a day hospital program (DHP). Method: A retrospective analysis of hospital records between 2013-2015 provided descriptive characteristics of patients. Weight and percentage ideal body weight at admission and discharge, frequency of binge and purge episodes at discharge and readmissions were analysed. Results: Analysis of patient characteristics indicated a broad range of eating disorder and comorbid psychiatric diagnoses among patients. Preliminary outcomes revealed increased weight and percentage of ideal body weight, decreased binge-purge status and few readmissions to the program over the two-year period studied. Conclusions: The implementation of a DBT informed DHP with integration of FBT is associated with improved patient outcomes. Ongoing challenges with respect to the implementation of DBT include modifying DBT to address varying developmental levels, ages and diagnoses and promoting adherence to the program by patients and families. Limitations include small sample size, uncontrolled chart review and the nature of DHP, which include a variety of components that may influence outcomes. This research will help to inform future implementation of treatment programs for adolescents with eating disorders.
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