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Our Patients, Our Approach

The Johns Hopkins Eating Disorders Program

Our Patients

We treat patients with a wide variety of eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) as well as any co-occurring psychiatric or medical conditions. Most of our patients have been unsuccessful in outpatient treatment and need assistance in normalizing their eating behavior and, when necessary, in gaining weight.

Disordered eating often limits physical, psychological, and social function. Some patients do not have classical eating disorders and may experience atypical symptoms. This latter group may include patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders or abdominal pain disorders that result in patterns of behavior deleterious to physical health and daily life.

We treat adults and adolescents, and both females and males. Approximately 25% of our patients are under 18 years of age and 5-10% are male. Over 50% of patients are from out-of-state including international patients.

Our Approach

Eating disorders are precipitated by a complex interplay of genetic vulnerability, sociocultural pressures, and personal experience. Once an eating disorder develops, physiological and psychological complications maintain unhealthy behaviors. These behaviors become self-sustaining and difficult to interrupt despite their adverse physical, psychological, and social consequences. Eating disorders limit and constrain health and function, impairing quality of life.

Our goal is to increase patients' function to the highest possible level. We believe full recovery is possible for everyone and strive to assist patients and their families in reaching this goal. Individual treatment plans are designed to teach healthy behaviors, manage stressful life events, instill hope and motivation for full recovery, a return to healthy function, and a successful future.

We have treated thousands of patients since our program opened in 1976 and incorporate the feedback of our patients into our clinical experience along with latest research findings to keep our program evidence-based and effective.

The Johns Hopkins Eating Disorders Program offers a full continuum of care depending on individual need and includes inpatient, day hospital, and outpatient treatment and consultation services.

Low-cost supervised housing in our Jefferson House for adult day hospital patients assists in their transition back to outpatient care. Subsidized housing costs for families of adolescent patients treated in the Day Hospital are also available.

The Inpatient Program and the Day Hospital are fully coordinated programs and are staffed by the same team, providing the flexibility to adapt intensity of treatment to patient need.

Once patients have progressed in the Inpatient Program, they transition to the Day Hospital where the treatment focus is on relapse-prevention and transition to home and outpatient care.

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