Effectiveness of enhanced cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-E) in the treatment of anorexia nervosa: a prospective multidisciplinary study
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Background: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a debilitating psychiatric disorder associated with a wide array of negative health complications and psychiatric comorbidity. Existing evidence for AN treatment in adults is weak, and no empirically supported treatment has been reliably established. The primary objective of this study is to gain knowledge about the effectiveness of enhanced cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-E) for anorexia nervosa delivered in a public hospital setting. Baseline predictors of treatment outcome and dropout are studied. Furthermore, there will be collected blood and stool samples for a general biobank to be able to initiate research on possible pathophysiological mechanisms underlying AN.
Methods: The study will assess the potency of outpatient CBT-E in a sample of patients suffering from AN (age >16) admitted to the Section for Eating Disorders at the Department for Psychosomatic Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway. The study has a longitudinal design with five main assessment time points: before treatment, at 3 months, at the end of treatment, at 20 weeks, and at 12 months follow-up including biobank samples. A control group without an eating disorder will also be recruited.
Discussion: Treatment research in a public hospital setting is important for gaining knowledge about the transportability of treatments evaluated in research clinics into ordinary clinical practice. Furthermore, biological material from the thoroughly described patient cohort will serve as a basis for further research on the pathophysiological mechanisms in AN.