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Slovenska pediatrija 2014; 21: 69-77

https://doi.org/

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Professional article

PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS WITH EATING DISORDERS

V. Đurašin
Služba za otroško in mladostniško psihiatrijo, Pediatrična klinika, Univerzitetni klinični center Ljubljana, Ljubljana

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to present the clinical psychological treatment of children and adolescents with eating disorders. Eating disorders are a mental illness, which has the highest mortality rate of all mental disorders. Statistics indicate that only 10% of persons with eating disorders seek medical assistance, and of these, only 35% receive appropriate specialist treatment. Early diagnosis is of crucial importance and it can influence the prognosis of the treatment process. Anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic illness in adolescent girls. An integrated approach from various professionals provides a higher treatment success rate. Clinical psychological treatment always begins with a thorough and comprehensive psychological assessment of the individual, which gives insight into their developmental needs and abilities in order to try to determine their specific problem. The next step is formulation of the problem, where we try to consolidate all insights acquired in the process of evaluation, identify them in the context of known psychological facts and scientific theories and the current condition of the illness. The next step is evaluation, which is the central task of psychological work and includes knowledge and skills for providing psychological assistance with various psychotherapeutic methods. Two therapeutic models have proven to be the most effective for the treatment of eating disorders in children and adolescents: cognitive-behavioural therapy and systematic family therapy. The final step is evaluation, which gives insight into the correctness and effectiveness of the adopted approaches.

Key words: psychological treatment, eating disorders, children, adolescents, clinical psychology.