Day hospitals (DHs) represent a treatment option for anorexia nervosa (AN), a mental disorder that is difficult to treat and has no evidence-based treatments available. We aimed to determine the effectiveness of a DH treatment that was specifically focused on the emotions of severe AN patients. Body mass index and eating psychopathology were the primary outcome measures. Fifty-six adult patients with AN were assessed upon admission, at the end of treatment (EOT) and at a 12-month follow-up evaluation (T18) using Eating Disorders Inventory-2, Beck Depression Inventory, Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety and Brief Social Phobia Scale. All participants received a multidisciplinary treatment programme that focused on psychodynamic psychotherapy. Seventy-eight per cent of participants reported positive outcomes at EOT and 68% at T18. Moreover, 82.1% and 65.4% of long-standing patients showed positive outcomes at EOT and T18, respectively. All measures of psychopathology were significantly improved at EOT and were maintained at follow-up. Our DH was effective at treating severe AN patients; however, further investigations of the processes of change are warranted.
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