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Eating disorders treatment: sociodemographic profile, outcomes and associated factors



To evaluate the profile of patients with eating disorders (ED) treated by a specialized service and to investigate the factors associated with the treatment outcome.


Retrospective study, with data from patients with ED who were followed up at a specialized service, since its creation, in 1982, until 2019. Information of a sociodemographic, clinical, anthropometric nature and the outcome of the treatment were collected from the medical records regarding the first consultation.


Two hundred and seventy one patients were included. The sample was predominantly female (89.7%), with a mean age of 21.5 ± 9 years, without a partner (86.9%), diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (AN) (65.7%) and the most frequent body mass index was thinness (53.9%). Half of the individuals had psychiatric comorbidities (50.6%) and 88.5% (n = 100) of the 113 medical records with this information had undergone previous treatment. The mean treatment time was 2.16 ± 3.25 years (1 month to 40 years). Dropout was the most prevalent therapeutic outcome in the sample (68.3%). Longer treatment time and having undergone previous treatment significantly reduced the dropout rate (p = 0.0001 and p = 0.0101, respectively). For patients diagnosed with a personality disorder, the mean referral/lack of assistance was 4.47 times higher (p = 0.0003).


The patients’ profile consisted of young adult women, students, single, with AN, thinness and psychiatric comorbidities. The dropout rate was high, and the predictors associated with this outcome were treatment time and previous treatment for ED. In addition, personality disorders were associated with referral to another service and discharge due to lack of assistance.

Eating disorder; anorexia nervosa; bulimia nervosa; predictors; outcome

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