A review of family-based treatment for adolescents with eating disorders

Colleen Stiles-Shields*, Renée Rienecke Hoste, Peter M. Doyle, Daniel Le Grange

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This review focuses on the use of family-based treatment (FBT) for adolescents with eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). AN and BN are serious disorders with significant psychiatric and medical morbidity. Data support the use of family treatments for adolescents with eating disorders. Developed at the Maudsley Hospital, FBT is a theoretically agnostic approach that externalizes the illness from the patient and empowers families to actively work to bring about recovery in their relative with an eating disorder. FBT appears to be an effective treatment for adolescents with AN and support is developing for the treatment of adolescents with BN. Manual development is currently underway for the implementation of FBT for young adults with eating disorders, overweight adolescents, and those with subsyndromal AN. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of FBT with other populations. In this review, we will provide a critical overview of the literature by focusing upon empirical findings regarding FBT, with particular emphasis on studies conducted with adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalReviews on Recent Clinical Trials
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Adolescents
  • Eating disorders
  • Family-based treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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