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Cover of European Eating Disorders Review
Anorexia Nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa
Atypical Anorexia Nervosa
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

Virtual intensive outpatient care in eating disorders

European Eating Disorders Review
By Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS

Reinekee R, McClanahan S, Blaylock D, Mehler, PS, Johnson C. Virtual intensive outpatient care in eating disorders. European Eating Disorders Review, 9: 13-18, 2020.

Access to evidence‐based treatment for eating disorders is severely limited by patient barriers and available clinician training. While clinical parameters often point to the need for a high level of care, patients may resist pursuing higher levels of care due to these barriers. One option that might mitigate such obstacles is the provision of a higher level of care via internet‐based treatment for eating disorders. We sought to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary clinical outcomes associated with treatment of eating disorders through virtual intensive outpatient programming (VIOP). Fifty‐seven patients meeting DSM‐5 criteria for an eating disorder participated in VIOP. Of the 57 patients in VIOP treatment, 3 did not complete voluntary measures at admission or discharge, and 9 additional patients did not complete voluntary measures at discharge. Overall, 45 VIOP patients completed admission and discharge assessments, including a net promoter score (NPS) question assessing patient acceptability. Recruitment, treatment adherence, and completion of assessments in VIOP were feasible and acceptable. VIOP patients showed significant and clinically meaningful improvements in all outcomes measured, including self‐reported eating disorder symptoms, depression, self‐esteem, quality of life, and overall satisfaction. VIOP appears feasible, acceptable, and evidences clinically meaningful changes in eating and mood disorder symptoms.

Written by

Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS

Dr. Philip S. Mehler began his career at Denver Health more than 35 years ago and was formerly its Chief of Internal Medicine and then Denver Health’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) until he was promoted…

ACUTE Earns Prestigious Center of Excellence Designation from Anthem
In 2018, the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders & Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health was honored by Anthem Health as a Center of Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders. ACUTE is the first medical unit ever to achieve this designation in the field of eating disorders. It comes after a rigorous review process.

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