Day hospitalization programs for eating disorders: A systematic review of the literature

Stephan Zipfel*, Deborah L. Reas, Chris Thornton, Marion P. Olmsted, Donald A. Williamson, Monika Gerlinghoff, Wolfgang Herzog, Peter J. Beumont

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Partial day hospitalization programs for the treatment of eating disorders are increasingly being developed worldwide. Method: First, a systematic database search of day hospitalization programs for eating disorders, published in either English or German, was conducted. Programs that provided sufficient information on their program structure were summarized and compared across various dimensions. Second, the responsible program directors were contacted to provide additional information regarding outcome data, current trends, challenges, and future directions of their programs. Third, outcome data from day programs presented at international conferences were included to expand the base of the review. Discussion: Although the programs from different countries and health care environments varied in terms of their purpose and operated within very different health care systems, many similarities were found to exist, including the use of a multidisciplinary staff and reliance on group treatment as the primary means of therapy. Marked differences were noted in terms of inclusion criteria and intensity of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Day hospital programs
  • Eating disorders
  • Outcome
  • Partial hospitalization


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