About this guide

This treatment clinical practice guideline is for adolescents and adults who have anorexia nervosa or who believe they are at risk of developing it. It may also assist family or carers. Its development was part of a project to develop clinical practice guidelines for professionals involved in the treatment of anorexia nervosa and is for use in Australia and New Zealand. The guide was commissioned by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) with funding from both countries. 'Guidelines' for health professionals and for consumers/carers were developed on five other topics. This guide was researched and developed by consumers and carers. It is an evidence based guideline as defined by the National Health and Medical Research Council which means that it is based on research and not just opinion. Where opinion is used, it contains recommendations from 118 'guidelines' made by carers and consumers where there are gaps in the scientific research evidence. Our method is outlined in full in Appendix 1.


The guide contains the latest research available on anorexia nervosa and recommendations from recovered consumers to assist you to choose the best kind of treatment. It aims to:
  • Help consumers to make decisions about their treatment
  • Outline the value of interventions at critical times such as diagnosis, admission and discharge
  • Guide on the standard of services to expect.

The sections

The first section Anorexia nervosa - The facts contains a research summary. It spells out the facts of anorexia, describes treatments and discusses what the research says about treatment effectiveness.

The second section Living through anorexia nervosa describes the experience from both consumer and carer perspectives and draws upon the consensus-level evidence collected from consumer and carer opinion. It provides guidance on how to cope with treatment and the potentially disabling impact of anorexia. The appendices provide further useful information.