Question: “Will I be receiving ‘real treatment’ or ‘research treatment’?”

Answer:

  • If you are participating in research with us, you may choose to receive clinical treatment here as well. We provide expert treatment for eating disorders; your specific treatment will depend on your circumstance (e.g., diagnosis, location) and our current studies.

For example, individuals with bulimia nervosa who are local to our area may receive 20 sessions of outpatient Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (with or without medication management)         following research participation. Those with bulimia nervosa who are not local to NYC or who have tried outpatient CBT with limited success may instead be offered a brief inpatient hospitalization to help normalize eating behaviors.

Patients with anorexia nervosa may participate in a range of studies while receiving care on our   inpatient unit. The clinical staff works in close coordination with the research staff, but the inpatient treatment program is not in and of itself a “research treatment.”

  • Some of our research includes treatment studies. These are studies evaluating the usefulness of a particular approach, including psychotherapy or medication studies.

Currently, we offer an outpatient medication trial for individuals with anorexia nervosa who are local to our area. In addition to the “research treatment,” consisting of 16 weeks of study medication (or placebo), all participants meet weekly with a team psychiatrist for brief supportive sessions, nutritional support, and medical monitoring. Patients who already have an outpatient team in place may continue seeing their outside practitioners as well. If, at any point during the study, these interventions are not helpful and inpatient care is indicated and desired, our team will help facilitate a switch to a higher level of care.

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