A case study published in “The Clinical Case Studies Journal” has revealed a remarkable development in the treatment of longstanding, untreated anorexia nervosa (AN), a serious and potentially fatal eating disorder. The study, authored by a team of experts from Within Health, a leader in remote eating disorder treatment, shows how a client with a severe and complex history of AN achieved weight restoration and symptom remission within 150 days through a remotely administered, individualized treatment program.
The client, who had been suffering from AN for over 20 years, had multiple medical complications and a history of unsuccessful treatment attempts. She had also faced barriers to accessing in-person care, such as distance, cost, and stigma. She enrolled in Within Health’s remote treatment program, which offered her a comprehensive and personalized approach that included medical, nutritional, psychological, and behavioral interventions. She received daily support and guidance from a multidisciplinary team of professionals, who monitored her progress and adjusted her treatment plan as needed. She also used a smart scale and a mobile app to track her weight, food intake, and mood.
The remote treatment program provided several advantages for the client, such as convenience, flexibility, privacy, and autonomy. She was able to receive high-quality care from the comfort of her home, without disrupting her work and family life. She also felt more empowered and motivated to take charge of her recovery, as she had more control over her environment and choices. She reported high levels of satisfaction and engagement with the program, and developed a trusting and collaborative relationship with her treatment team.
The outcomes and implications of the case study
The case study demonstrates the potential effectiveness and feasibility of remote treatment programs in supporting weight restoration and symptom remission in severe cases of AN. The client was able to safely and consistently gain weight until she reached her expected range, which is a crucial and challenging goal in AN treatment. She also experienced significant improvements in her physical and mental health, such as reduced blood pressure, improved bone density, increased self-esteem, and decreased depression and anxiety. She maintained these positive outcomes at a six-month follow-up, indicating the sustainability and durability of the remote treatment program.
The case study also contributes to the current debates and research on the role and value of remote care in eating disorder treatment, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased the demand and need for accessible and innovative solutions. The case study shows how a biopsychosocial perspective and evidence-based practice can be adapted and applied to remote settings, offering hope and opportunity to many people who suffer from eating disorders and face challenges in accessing traditional forms of care.