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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

CR208. Managing transitions when the patient has an eating disorder

Price: £0.00

Approved: Nov 2017

Published: Nov 2017

Status: current

Number of pages: 31

Review by: Nov 2022

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The diverse transitions that occur in services for people with eating disorders are a significant cause of relapse and breakdown in treatment (Treasure et al, 2005). Lack of communication between services, poor care planning and neglect of carers’ needs may result in disengagement from services. This exacerbates patient and carer suffering, increases morbidity and mortality, and wastes precious health service resources; it also reduces the productivity of valued members of society. Differences in services can be impossible for patients to assimilate, leading to drop-out (Muñoz-Solomando et al, 2010), unsuccessful treatment (Singh, 2009) and potentially avoidable readmission to hospital (Jencks, 2010).

There are anecdotal reports that some transitions are experienced as positive and helpful. This occurs when ‘old’ and ‘new’ services have paid attention to why transition is difficult for both patient and carers and when the ‘new’ service offers a good fit with the patient’s stage of recovery.


  • Authors
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Aims and recommendations
  • Meaning of transitions in eating disorder psychopathology
  • Transitions which occur in the course of treatment
  • Transition from CAMHS to AEDS (or to general adult mental health services)
  • The experience of transition
  • Transition from home to university
  • Transition between general hospitals and eating disorder units
  • Transition between in-patient and out-patient care
  • Transition out of specialist eating disorder services: discharge
  • Other transitions
  • Transitions and the commissioning of services
  • References


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