Eating Disorder Statistics
- It is estimated 103,000 kiwi’s struggle with an eating disorder1
- Less than 6% of people with eating disorders are medically diagnosed as “underweight”2,3
- Eating disorders are second only to opioid overdose as the deadliest mental illnesses4,5
- 10% of those with eating disorders will die within ten years2,3
- About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide2,3
- It is estimated 70% of people with eating disorders in New Zealand do not have access to the help they need6
- New Zealanders and Australians are consistently travelling overseas to access specialized eating disorder treatment. In America this costs an average of $1800 NZD/day with an average length of stay being 2-3 months7,8
Please Note: The style of outcome data collected, differs considerably between treatment centres. We have collated the following results from the publicly available outcome studies looking at changes from a clients admit to discharge in residential, day or partial programming treatment centres in America.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP or Day Program)
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP or Partial Program)
Eating Disorder Symptoms
“Results indicate that patients experienced clinically and statistically significant reductions in eating disorder symptoms over the course of treatment in the Residential, PHP and IOP levels of care on nearly all scales.”
“On average, patients presented at admission with severe eating disorder symptoms relative to female community norms. Upon discharge, average patient scores on the EDE-Q were consistent with community norms, suggesting clinically significant improvements.”
Eating Disorder Pathology
“Results indicate that patients demonstrated reductions in eating disorder pathology on all subscales across the Residential, PHP and IOP programs. The majority of these reductions were statistically significant at the p < 0.01 level or the p < 0.05 level.”
Depression and Anxiety
“Results show clinically and statistically significant depression symptom reduction across levels of care.”
State and trait anxiety
“Scores indicated that patients in the Residential, PHP and IOP levels of care demonstrated statistically significant reductions in both state and trait anxiety from admission to discharge."
Adult Changes in Eating Disorder Pathology
All changes were statistically significant beyond p<.001. Cohen’s D effect sizes ranged from small (.42) to the upper end of medium (.77).
Adult Changes in Depression
Of the patients admitted and discharged from adult services at Eating Recovery Center between 2014 to 2018, 81% admitted with moderate to severe depression. Of those patients with moderate to severe depression, 61% dropped to mild or minimal depression by discharge. The below figures show the average admission and discharge depression scores and the average change in depression as an effect size. Change was statistically significant beyond p<.001. The Cohen’s D effect size was large (1.24).
Adult Changes in Anxiety
Of the patients admitted and discharged from adult services at Eating Recovery Center between 2014 to 2018, 83% reported reductions in state anxiety during treatment. Change was statistically significant beyond p<.001. The Cohen’s D effect size was large (.97).
Adult Changes in OCD
Of the patients admitted to adult services at Eating Recovery Center between 2014 to 2018, 45% met criteria for clinically significant symptoms of OCD (defined as >20 on OCI-R). Of those patients, 37% fell below the clinical cutoff by discharge. Change was statistically significant beyond p<.001. The Cohen’s D effect size was small (.37).
Adult Changes in Impact of Eating Disorder on Quality of Life
The EDQOL has several domains, reflecting psychological, physical, cognitive, financial and school/work quality of life. The average across each of these domains is reported. Of the patients admitted to adult services at Eating Recovery Center between 2014 to 2018, 77% reported reductions in the degree to which their eating disorder negatively impacted their quality of life. Change was statistically significant beyond p<.001. The Cohen’s D effect size was medium (.75).
For the past two years, Alsana’s research and assessment department has collected data during different phases of our treatment program. The psychological assessments utilized measure eating disorder symptoms, depression, anxiety, trauma symptoms, quality of life and overall life functioning. We are proud to announce that the treatment outcomes we have measured show statistically significant improvement across a range of symptoms. By the time of discharge, clients consistently show a reduction in eating disorder symptoms, depression, anxiety, trauma symptoms and an increase in quality of life.
Long Term Outcome Data following intensive treatment
There is a distinct lack of long-term studies following individuals after concluding intensive eating disorder treatment such as inpatient, residential, day or partial programming.
The majority of individuals leaving intensive treatment will engage in various types of follow up treatment with multiple providers. The lack of controlled conditions and considerable variance of services make determining the long-term effects of the initial intensive treatment difficult.
89% of clients were classified as having a good or intermediate outcome at 4.6 years post-graduation on average
81% of clients were classified as having a good or intermediate outcome at 3.8 years post-graduation on average
1 N.A. (26th August, 2020). Two Mental Health Advocates Collaborate To Create Eating Disorders Recovery App.
2 Flament, M. F., Henderson, K., Buchholz, A., Obeid, N., Nguyen, H. N. T., Birmingham, M., & Goldfield, G. S. (2015). Weight status and DSM-5 diagnoses of eating disorders in adolescents from the community. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(5), 403-411.
3 Duncan, A. E., Ziobrowski, H. N., & Nicol, G. (2017). The prevalence of past 12-month and lifetime DSM-IV eating disorders by BMI category in US men and women. European Eating Disorders Review, 25(3), 165-171.
4 Arcelus, J., Mitchell, A. J., Wales, J., & Nielsen, S. (2011). Mortality rates in patients with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders: a meta-analysis of 36 studies. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(7), 724-731.
5 Chesney, E., Goodwin, G. M., & Fazel, S. (2014). Risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders: a meta-review. World Psychiatry, 13(2), 153-160.
6 EDANZ. (June 2018). Submission to the New Zealand Government Mental Health Inquiry. https://www.ed.org.nz/files/EDANZ_Submission_to_Mental_Health_Inquiry.pdf
7 Frisch, M.J., Herzog, D.B., & Franko, D.L. (2006). Residential Treatment for Eating Disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 39(5), 434-42.
8 Monte Nido Eating Disorder Treatment Centre. (May 28, 2007) Treatment Outcome Research at the Monte Nido Treatment Centre [1 to 10-Year Follow-up Study]. http://www.montenido.com/pdf/AnorexiaResults.pdf