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Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Clinical Handbook

DerMarderosian, Diane MD

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: February/March 2014 - Volume 35 - Issue 2 - p 117
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000041
Book Review

Partial Hospital Program, Hasbro Children's Hospital, W Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University, Providence, RI

Disclosure: The author declares no conflict of interest.

In this clinical handbook, psychologist Daniel Le Grange and adolescent psychiatrist James Lock have assembled a diverse group of international experts who provide overviews of key topics in the area of Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents. An extremely important contribution to the literature, this is the first compilation, which has tackled the subt of eating disorders in this age group in such great detail. This comprehensive collection provides a scholarly review of all major topics pertaining to children and adolescents with eating disorders. With a focus on issues unique to children and adolescents, the book organizes its 25 chapters into 7 sections: cause and neurobiology, epidemiology and diagnosis, diagnosis and classification, medical issues and assessment, and treatment and the role of parents. Moreover, the textbook is designed to support readers with clinical decision making and to guide treatment. While all of the chapters are quite instructive, there are a few I would like to highlight as illustrative of this handbook's significance. The initial chapters provide a useful overview of the ue unique issues pertaining to development, consequences, assessment, and treatment of eating disorders in children and adolescents, a period of particular vulnerability for development of these conditions.

In Chapter 4, “The Role of the Family Environment in Etiology: A Neuroscience Perspective,” Stober and Peris review the developmental implications of genetics, epigenetics, neurobiology, temperament different family patterns of family dynamics, and the impact of stress on biological and psychological development. Their work highlights the rapidly advancing understanding of the complicated relationship between developing behavioral systems, their organizing biology, and the social milieu. Chapter 7 reviews issues related to the diagnosis and classification of disordered feeding and eating in children younger than 13 years old, with a primary focus on presentations conceptualized as behavioral or mental disorders. This chapter acknowledges the shift to DSM-5 and ICD-10, helping to inform the reader about the important issues regarding classification and diagnosis, as well as potential direction and developments. Katzen and Findlay's comprehensive overview of the medical issues unique to children and adolescents in Chapter 9 highlights the range of consequences from mild to life-threatening. The importance of a sophisticated understanding of the potential medical complications in this population is reviewed, and the fact that prompt recognition of these issues and early intervention can potentially improve outcomes. In the treatment section, intensive treatment programs and outpatient treatment are reviewed. Helpful tools include a table reviewing Strategies to Develop a Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders. In terms of psychotherapy, individual, parent-focused, and family-based treatment are all addressed. There is particular focus on family-based treatment including a chapter by Harriet Brown entitled “A Parent's Perspective of Family Treatment.” In conclusion, James Lock reviews future directions for clinical and research work with younger populations, including improved understanding of the biological basis, epidemiology and course, diagnosis and classification, appropriate assessment approaches, treatment and prevention, and parent and patient involvement.

As one of the first to provide a comprehensive focus on eating disorders in children and adolescents, this textbook is an invaluable resource for those specializing in treating this population. In addition, this book will be of particular interest graduate students, residents, and fellows from a wide range of disciplines who are interested in learning more about these complex illnesses and their treatment. Primary care providers who follow many of these children could also gain insight into early diagnosis and ongoing treatment options and concerns from this textbook.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins