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Journal of Eating Disorders

Open Access

Dealing with anorexia nervosa among children and adolescents within a regional area

  • Benjamin Hansen1,
  • Paul Sutton1,
  • Allahna Heywood1,
  • Veronica Stanganelli1Email author,
  • Annette Howe1 and
  • Tanya Dodman1
Journal of Eating Disorders20153(Suppl 1):O50

Published: 23 November 2015


Psychiatric DisorderHealth PromotionSocial WorkerAverage LengthAnorexia Nervosa


Anorexia has the highest death rate of any psychiatric disorder (15-20%). Research evidence suggests that inpatient treatment is correlated with expensive cost and poor long term outcomes.


To evaluate the implementation of 10 years of family-based treatment for anorexia nervosa.


Patients were treated by an interdisciplinary team including: Paediatrician, Child Psychiatrist, social workers, psychologists and nurses with relevant training in Maudsley model.

The average number of bed-days over the 10 year-period prior to the Maudsley approach was 102.8. The average number of patients admitted each year was 3.2 with average length of stay of 32 days per patient.


The implementation of this approach has been dependent upon an excellent stakeholders' relationship. We achieved 77% reduction in the average number of bed-days; 37% reduction on the admissions, 62% less length of stay and long-term positive outcomes.


Family-based treatment appears to be the most efficacious treatment for Youth Anorexia Nervosa despite of the scarce resources within Mackay region.

Authors’ Affiliations

CYMHS, Queensland Health, Mackay, Australia


© Hansen et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.