Nutritional Rehabilitative Treatment in a Residential Centre for Eating Disorders: A Case Series Report

Purpose: Patients with Eating Disorders (ED) could benefit of temporary leaving from their family and social environment, hosting in specialized residential centers. Methods: Fifty-one female patients (23.5 ± 6.1 years), 22 with Anorexia Nervosa (AN), 14 with Bulimia Nervosa (BN), 9 with Binge Eating Disorders (BED) and 6 with not-otherwise specified eating disorders (EDNOS) were followed in a residential regimen for at least 3 months. Anthropometric, clinical, biochemical and body composition parameters were evaluated at entry, at 1, 3 and 5 months, while residents and 6 months after discharge. A multidisciplinary team, including specialized medical doctors, psychotherapists and dieticians was involved in the treatment. Results: A significant (p<0.001) and progressive weight gain in 22 AN patients, both at the end of the residential period and at 6 month follow-up was observed, with no signs of refeeding syndrome. Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) progressively increased, reaching significance (p<0.02) at 5 month treatment. Menses spontaneously recovered in 12 patients, after 17 (5-48) months amenorrhea. In 14 BN patients, binge eating and purging episodes were eliminated. Nine BED patients gradually lost weight (-14.5 ± 3.2 kg) and in particular Fat Mass (FM), with a significant (p<0.05) improvement in blood lipids and serum transaminases. No significant changes were observed in the 6 EDNOS patients, possibly due to the low number and wide variability of patients gathered in this disease definition. Conclusion: These observations suggest the safety, with the improvement of several clinical and nutritional parameters, of a multi-disciplinary and integrated approach carried out in a residential setting, in particular for AN patients.


Bonifacio R, Santarpia L, Finelli C, La Sala N, Orofino R, Miro O, Gioia S, Marra M, Pasanisi F, Contaldo F and Trabace R

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