Mental capacity to consent to treatment and the association with outcome: A longitudinal study in patients with anorexia nervosa

Isis F. F. M. Elzakkers*, Unna N. Danner, Lot C. Sternheim, Daniel McNeish, Hans W. Hoek, Annemarie A. van Elburg

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    Background

    Relevance of diminished mental capacity in anorexia nervosa (AN) to course of disorder is unknown.

    Aims

    To examine prognostic relevance of diminished mental capacity in AN.

    Method

    A longitudinal study was conducted in 70 adult female patients with severe AN. At baseline, mental capacity was assessed by psychiatrists, and clinical and neuropsychological data (decision-making) were collected. After 1 and 2 years, clinical and neuropsychological assessments were repeated, and remission and admission rates were calculated.

    Results

    People with AN with diminished mental capacity had a less favourable outcome with regard to remission and were admitted more frequently. Their appreciation of illness remained hampered. Decision-making did not improve, in contrast to people with full mental capacity.

    Conclusions

    People with AN with diminished mental capacity seem to do less well in treatment and display decision-making deficiencies that do not ameliorate with weight improvement. (C) The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2017.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-153
    Number of pages7
    JournalBJPsych Open
    Volume3
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May-2017

    Keywords

    • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
    • TORONTO-ALEXITHYMIA-SCALE
    • IOWA-GAMBLING-TASK
    • EATING-DISORDERS
    • DECISION-MAKING
    • CENTRAL COHERENCE
    • MAUDSLEY MODEL
    • ADULTS MANTRA
    • FOLLOW-UP
    • EPIDEMIOLOGY

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