The Prognosis of Eating Disorders: A Clinician’s Approach

  • G. F. M. Russell


After his first assessment of a patient with anorexia nervosa, the clinician will be expected to convey to her relatives his opinion about the likely outcome of her illness. More specifically he will be asked to answer several crucial questions. First, is the patient likely to recover and, secondly, how long is she likely to remain ill? In grappling with these questions the clinician will rely on existing knowledge of those factors which are known to influence the course and outcome of the illness, for better or worse. These factors are known as the predictors of prognosis. If the clinician believes he can be reasonably optimistic with his prognosis, he will be asked further whether the recovery is likely to be permanent, or relapses are to be expected. Finally the relatives will turn to him for advice as to the treatment most likely to arrest the course of the illness and increase the chances of a complete recovery.


Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Bulimia Nervosa Family Therapy Anorexic Patient 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

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  • G. F. M. Russell

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