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The Eating Disorders Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is composed of experts from both Adolescent Medicine and Behavioral Health. The most effective care for children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with an eating disorder or disordered eating is provided by specialists in multiple health disciplines.
The Eating Disorders Program team includes dietitians, physicians, behavioral health therapists, psychiatrists and a nurse. Team members work together, in conjunction with the child and family, in order to stabilize eating behavior, assure medical stability and work through the concerns which may have led to disordered eating, as well as other concerns.
Downtown Close To HomeSM Center
500 E. Main St., 3rd Fl.
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 355-6300
The Eating Disorders Program includes several levels of care: outpatient, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization. Our multidisciplinary team provides care for each of these levels. When referred to the Eating Disorders Program, adolescents first undergo a diagnostic assessment provided by a behavioral health therapist, dietitian and adolescent medicine physician. The assessment determines the appropriate level of care for the adolescent or child. Patients recommended for intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization care will be referred to the team psychiatrist who will conduct an assessment and recommend the appropriate program.
Outpatient program participants meet with members of our team once a week, or as needed. Services include evidence-based treatments such as Maudsley family-based therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.
Maudsley family-based therapy is an intensive outpatient treatment where parents play an active and positive role in order to help restore their child’s weight and are critical in helping stabilize their child’s eating.
Cognitive behavioral therapy addresses behavior by helping patients set goals and develop strategies on how to change behavior patterns. This technique acknowledges that there may be behaviors that cannot be controlled through rational thought. Cognitive behavioral therapy is action oriented, which means that the therapist will help the patient create specific strategies to help address their less effective thoughts and behavior patterns.
Dialectical behavior therapy is a type of therapy which helps patients reduce life-threatening behaviors and increase skillful behaviors which can help in navigating stressors of life. Patients learn and commit to practicing new skills in order to make these new behaviors effective and worth continuing.
Patients in the Intensive Outpatient Program meet four days a week for three hours at a time. They are cared for by members of our multidisciplinary team including physicians, dietitians and behavioral health therapists. Outside of treatment hours, patients and families attend individual and family appointments where they receive counseling, and nutritional and medical guidance. This program provides more structure for patients not able to meet treatment goals through the outpatient program. It can also be used as a transition from the Partial Hospitalization Program.
In our Partial Hospitalization Program patients meet four days a week for 10 hours, and two days a week for five to six hours. During this time, they participate in group, individual and family therapy sessions, most of which are led by behavioral health therapists. Therapy sessions include nutritional counseling, occupational therapy and massage therapy. Nursing care, medical stabilization and psychiatric treatment are also provided. This program is designed to help stabilize eating and give structure to those adolescents with eating disorders who are not able to progress through our outpatient levels of care.
To make a referral or get more information, call the Eating Disorders Program at (614) 355-6300.