Thursday, February 15, 2007

The method of reward in anorexia treatment

The first step in long anorexia treatment is to tell the patient and her relatives in detail about the disorder and necessity of its treatment. Anorexic patients often underestimate the danger of their condition; therefore, it is important to be convincing enough. You know that a forced anorexia treatment can be very complicated and even impossible. Here the method of reward should come to the fore.

Almost always - except for the very early stages of the disease when the weight reduction is still insignificant - hospitalization in a specialized hospital is recommended. In hospital the patient starts to regain weight. Doctors often apply the method of reward: if the patient regains, for example, 0.2 kg of weight daily he is given more freedom in reward. He may be allowed to leave his ward for some time, then to see his friends, have a stroll in the hospital garden, etc. Doctors may have an agreement with the anorexic according to which this or that amount of weight regain corresponds to certain reward. It is very important, that patients choose the type and measure of encouragement themselves. If the weight does not increase, it means that reward is not attractive enough and one should look for another one.

The method of encouragement, or reward, has proved to be quite effective in anorexia treatment. The best results are achieved in uncomplicated cases.

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