Treatment dropout in a family-based partial hospitalization program for eating disorders

Renee Dawn Rienecke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Treatment dropout is a significant challenge in the treatment of eating disorders. In day hospital/partial hospitalization program settings, little is known about factors associated with treatment dropout. The purpose of the present study was to assess factors associated with treatment dropout in a partial hospitalization program for adolescents and young adults with anorexia nervosa. Patients and parents completed self-report and interview-based measures at baseline and at end of treatment in the partial hospitalization program. Few factors were found that differentiated the two groups. Those who dropped out had lower body weight at end of treatment, were less likely to have purged in the previous month, and had fathers who scored higher on the criticism subscale of expressed emotion. Patients who are purging may be seen as having more severe symptoms, thus possibly reducing the chances of parents prematurely discontinuing treatment. Parental criticism is a potentially modifiable factor in treatment. Further research is needed to identify effective ways to reduce parental criticism, and to identify additional modifiable factors associated with treatment dropout to reduce dropout rates in this population. Level IV: Evidence obtained from multiple time series with or without the intervention, such as case studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-168
Number of pages6
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 13 2019


  • Adolescents
  • Eating disorders
  • Expressed emotion
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Treatment dropout

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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