A review of feeding methods used in the treatment of anorexia nervosa

Hart, Susan, Franklin, Richard C., Russell, Janice, and Abraham, Suzanne (2013) A review of feeding methods used in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. Journal of Eating Disorders, 1. 36. pp. 1-10.

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Background: Clear evidence based guidelines on the best and safest method of achieving and maintaining normal body weight during inpatient treatment of Anorexia Nervosa (AN) are currently not available. Oral feeding with food alone, high-energy liquid supplements, nasogastric feeding and parenteral nutrition all have the potential to achieve weight gain in the treatment of AN but the advantages and disadvantages of each method have not been comprehensively evaluated. A literature search was undertaken to identify papers describing feeding methods used during inpatient treatment of AN. The selection criteria searched for papers that described the feeding method; and reported weight change variables such as admission and discharge weight in kilograms, or Body Mass Index; or weight change over the course of inpatient treatment.

Results: Twenty-six papers were identified, describing a total of 37 samples with a mean sample size of 58.9 participants, and a range from 6 to 318. The majority (84.6%) of papers were observational cohorts and retrospective chart reviews. The most common feeding method described was nasogastric feeding and food, then high-energy liquid supplements and food.

Conclusions: There is limited evidence on the efficacy of feeding methods used in the refeeding and nutritional rehabilitation of AN, therefore no conclusion can be made about the most effective method of achieving weight gain during inpatient treatment. While there are a number of papers exploring this issue there is no consistency in the way the information is reported to enable comparisons between the different methods. There is an urgent need for research in this area to guide decision-making in the inpatient management, refeeding and nutritional rehabilitation of AN.

Item ID: 31334
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2050-2974
Keywords: anorexia nervosa, feeding, enteral, nasogastric, refeeding, parenteral
Additional Information:

© 2013 Hart et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2014 00:52
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics > 111102 Dietetics and Nutrigenomics @ 60%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920599 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) not elsewhere classified @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services) @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 20%
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