A review of the role of psychiatrists and pediatricians in Outpatient treatment of adolescents with anorexia and bulimia nervosa

Colleen Stiles-Shields, Angela Smyth, Catherine Glunz, Renée R. Hoste, Leah Boepple, Daniel le Grange

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Eating disorders frequently have their onset in adolescence. This is problematic as Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN), and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) often present with serious psychiatric and medical sequelae that can affect an adolescent's physical and emotional development. It is well documented that complications from eating disorders in adolescence can result in long-term health consequences, rendering effective psychiatric and medical treatments a necessity. To combat the medical consequences associated with eating disorders in adolescents, pediatricians must identify, treat, and monitor medical complications. Pediatricians are also responsible for assessing the need for hospitalization due to medical instability. Some advances have been made regarding psychopharmacological treatments for eating disorders. For example, antidepressant medications, such as SSRIs, have demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of adults with BN. The true effectiveness of these medications in adolescent populations remains unknown. A multidisciplinary team approach is a common treatment model in outpatient practice, but further research is required to investigate how to facilitate the collaboration of psychiatric and medical professionals. The majority of psychiatric and medical trials for eating disorder patients have involved adult participants, and most studies have investigated either psychiatric or medical treatments for eating disorders. In this review, we will add to the current literature by focusing on both psychiatric and medical treatments for eating disorders, with particular emphasis on studies conducted with adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-188
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Adolescent
  • Eating disorders
  • Pediatrician
  • Psychiatry
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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