Staging anorexia nervosa could improve outcomes, say experts

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 16 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e445
  1. Jane Parry
  1. 1Hong Kong

The current criteria for diagnosing anorexia nervosa fail to reflect clinical reality and should be changed to a staging model similar to that used to diagnose cancer or burns, says an Australian expert.

Stephen Touyz, professor of clinical psychology and co-director of the Peter Beumont Centre for Eating Disorders at the University of Sydney, says that a staging instrument developed by Sarah Maguire of the university’s School of Psychology and colleagues can be used by clinicians to evaluate the severity of anorexia nervosa, enabling patients to be identified and treated earlier.

He said, “Under the existing criteria anorexia nervosa is only diagnosed when it is full blown. People who have symptoms of anorexia nervosa but …

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