Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto has expanded its eating-disorders treatment program to now include young adults, ages 18 to 21.
And it's turning the program into a community- and family-based program that uses a "blame-free, solution-focused approach."
The hospital, which had the first eating-disorders program in the Bay Area, is expanding both its inpatient and outpatient programs.
Eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia, mainly affect adolescents and teen girls, but are now recognized as also affecting college-age young adults.
"We are very family and developmentally oriented, and able to understand and address the differences between what a 9- versus a 14- versus a 21-year-old patient will need," child psychiatrist James Lock, the psychiatric director of the program, said.
"It's a blame-free, solution-focused approach."
"Lengthy hospitalizations used to be common because we had no effective, research-based treatments. Now we know that it's much more developmentally healthy to keep these kids in the community if at all possible and to involve their families in the re-feeding and recovery process," he said.
The hospital is also conducting additional research on two types of family therapy. One focuses on symptoms and weight restoration and the other on family processes.