A study conducted in San Francisco claims parents’ support makes bulimic treatments more effective. This new finding is against the previous beliefs, according to which parents should not be allowed to take part in their children’s treatment because they can have a negative influence on them.
Bulimia is a very common disease, especially among American adolescents, according to recent statistics pertaining to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The eating disorder is usually manifested through binge eating followed by teens’ remorse and attempts to prevent weight loss.
Most teenagers, who suffer from bulimia force themselves to vomit, they use laxatives or diuretics and they refrain themselves from eating for a very long period of time. Bulimia can be easily recognized in certain patients, but it can just as well remain untreated for a very long period of time, if symptoms are not visible.
For the current study, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, used 130 teenagers that have been previously diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. They were randomly selected from various social categories with ages between 12 and 18 years old. Half of the students were treated with the cognitive-behavioral therapy, while others through family-based therapy.
The treatment lasted for 2 years during which researchers closely observed the evolution of the patients. Teenagers had to take part in 18 sessions which were held over a period of six months. Follow-up treatments were administered after six and twelve months, according to scientists.
At the end of the experiment, researchers concluded that young patients who were treated with the help of the family based therapy had a much better response, than those in the other group category. Teenagers, who received parents’ support over the treatment had higher abstinence rates than the others.
Until recently, it was believed that parents are partially responsible for the eating disorders of teenagers. Consequently, they were often asked not to interfere in the relationship between teenagers and their psychiatrists.
The new study proves the opposite, suggesting psychiatrists to change their treatments and get parents as involved as possible. Daniel Le Grange, Ph.D. at the University of California has concluded, based on the findings of the new study that parents should be included in treatments for bulimia.
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