Treatment as an inpatient in a specialized eating disorder unit is most likely to restore the patient's weight to a near-normal level within 3 months or less. There have been no controlled studies comparing different treatment programmes. A possible exception is a study comparing a strict operant conditioning programme while refeeding the patients with a 'lenient' programme which was introduced later. (H8) No significant difference was found in the rate of weight gain between the two treatments. The value of a specialized eating disorder unit in inducing weight gain has been demonstrated from a series of 17 patients admitted to the Maudsley Unit in 1990. They had previously been admitted elsewhere and information on their previous weights was obtained. In the case of the Maudsley admissions the mean weight rose from 65.8 per cent average body weight (ABW) to 90.4 per cent ABW; in comparison the admissions elsewhere only led to a mean weight rise from 64.4 to 75 per cent ABW.
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