Refeeding patients with moderate and severe eating disorders: A retrospective cohort study
Rabito, G., Blalock, D. V., Beaty, L., Harr, B., Manwaring, J., Rienecke, R. D., Trees, N., & Mehler, P. (2021). Refeeding patients with moderate and severe eating disorders: A retrospective cohort study. International Journal of Nutritional Sciences, 6, 1050.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a life-threatening illness that can cause significant medical complications, including the potentially fatal refeeding syndrome. This study is a description of how the nutrition rehabilitation protocol of 395 adult patients diagnosed with AN and admitted to residential eating disorder treatment at ERC is implemented, how the protocol is sustained throughout a patient’s treatment stay to achieve desired weight gain, and how the patients’ biochemical and clinical progress proceeded between admission and discharge, including laboratory results and body mass index. Historically, a “start low and go slow” approach to refeeding in terms of caloric intake has been used with patients, although more recently this approach has been questioned. The current study demonstrated effectiveness in achieving weight restoration goals with aggressive caloric increases without a single incidence of refeeding syndrome. With close medical supervision, a refeeding approach with consistent calorie increases that is more aggressive than previously recommended appears to be safe.