Abstract and Keywords
The treatment of children and adolescents should always include consideration of their developmental needs, not just in terms of the style of therapy but also when choosing the service setting. Eating disorders generally arise in young people for whom the developmental demands of adolescence pose particular challenges, suggesting that promoting normal development should be a significant aim of treatment. A particular challenge concerns the thorny issue of whether a young person should be treated in the home (primarily under the care of parents) or in a hospital (in a more dependent setting, but one in which, paradoxically, the child generally has more independence from the family). A range of inpatient and community models are presented. The research literature is scant but provides little support for lengthy psychiatric inpatient care for the majority, with outpatient care being more cost-effective and, when delivered by specialists, resulting in higher levels of patient and parent satisfaction.
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