Anorexia has lifelong consequences

Innovation fund project for the treatment of anorexia starts in Aachen

Puberty anorexia, known as anorexia nervosa in technical terms, has the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses. The World Health Organization (WHO) assigns the disease to the four most important child and adolescent psychiatric diseases with "lifelong consequences". The disease affects around 90 to 95 percent of girls.

Building on the first positive results of a pilot study in Aachen, the Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy of Children and Adolescents at the RWTH Aachen University Clinic, under the leadership of the Clinic Director Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Beate Herpertz-Dahlmann and Senior Physician Dr. med. Brigitte Dahmen, launched the “HoT” project. “It follows a so-called step-down treatment approach. Adolescent patients are discharged from inpatient treatment after eight weeks at the latest and transferred to a four-month ward replacement treatment at home, also known as home treatment, ”says Prof. Herpertz-Dahlmann, explaining the patient-oriented treatment method. A multi-professional team of psychologists, doctors, specialist therapists, nursing staff and nutritionists treat the patients intensively at home three to four times a week together with their parents.

The pilot study shows that an improvement in treatment satisfaction, an increase in the competence of patients and their relatives and higher therapy efficiency with better economic efficiency can be achieved compared to standard care. The current study as part of the “HoT” innovation fund project is intended to confirm these results by means of a comparative study with significantly more patients. Four other child and adolescent psychiatric clinics are taking part in the study: the Münster University Clinic, the LVR Bochum / Hamm University Clinic, the LVR Clinic Bonn and the LVR Clinic Viersen.

With the financial support and support of the Federal Joint Committee, the treatment concept can be scientifically monitored and evaluated and staff from other clinics can be trained. This should enable the innovative form of care to be transferred to standard care in the future.

additional Information

Press release from the RWTH Aachen University Hospital