Packard expands eating-disorders program

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.

-- Don Kazak


Like this comment
Posted by Good PR
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 19, 2008 at 11:29 am

Stanford Hospitals have recently been on a major public relations campaign in preparation for approval of their mega development. Hardly a day passes without some announcement of a "community" study or program.
They have some high priced PR people working full time. The public programs focus on popular health subjects, like Alzheimers, women's issues, babies.
These have always been important health issues but the "community" publicity angle is recent.

Like this comment
Posted by Weekly reader
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2008 at 5:53 pm

There is a 2 page spread in today's weekly about sleep, and the final paragraph is called "Meeting the Needs of a Growing COMMUNITY."

There is a new newspaper with Medicine News that is mailed to every household with
Updates for the Local COMMUNITY. That baby must cost them a pretty penny.
They seem to have money to burn.

Like this comment
Posted by bikes2work
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Mar 19, 2008 at 9:49 pm

That is some pretty cynical thinking in the first two posts. About a year ago I met a very young woman with an eating disorder. She was on a feeding tube. She was terribly thin. The sight of food would sometimes make her gag. It isn't a funny thing at all, and I wouldn't be surprised to find out it is becoming more common. Just look at the standard of beauty that we hold up to young people as examples. That won't change, but psychiatry can help.

Like this comment
Posted by Weekly reader
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Nobody is saying that illness isn't important or that doctors aren't important.
My post was about the huge publicity campaign aiming to influence public opinion for their big development plans. It would be better that all that money were spent on medical care, on doctors and nurses and such, than on looking for world fame.

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