Eating Disorders: Seminar – The Lancet

Seminar: Eating Disorders, The Lancet, 2009

Prof Janet Treasure FRCPsych , Angélica M Claudino PhD, Nancy Zucker PhD

Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK


This Seminar adds to the previous Lancet Seminar about eating disorders, published in 2003, with an emphasis on the biological contributions to illness onset and maintenance. The diagnostic criteria are in the process of review, and the probable four new categories are: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and eating disorder not otherwise specified. These categories will also be broader than they were previously, which will affect the population prevalence; the present lifetime prevalence of all eating disorders is about 5%. Eating disorders can be associated with profound and protracted physical and psychosocial morbidity. The causal factors underpinning eating disorders have been clarified by understanding about the central control of appetite. Cultural, social, and interpersonal elements can trigger onset, and changes in neural networks can sustain the illness. Overall, apart from studies reporting pharmacological treatments for binge eating disorder, advances in treatment for adults have been scarce, other than interest in new forms of treatment delivery.

Lancashire Care staff can request the full-text of this paper, email:

Creative reminiscence program for older adults with severe mental disorders

A creative reminiscence program for older adults with severe mental disorders: Results of a pilot evaluation, Aging & Mental Health, Volume 13, Issue 5 September 2009 , pages 736 – 743

Bernadette M. Willemse – Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, Trimbos-Instituut, 3500 AS Utrecht, The Netherlands


Objective: Older adults with severe mental disorders experience major dissatisfaction with conditions of life that are connected with aging. To assist them in developing a coherent, meaningful life-story and to improve their life satisfaction, we conducted a pilot evaluation of a creative reminiscence program called Searching for meaning in life.

Methods: One week before and one week after the intervention 36 participants from three psychiatric hospitals and one sheltered housing program were interviewed. Life satisfaction was measured with the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life (MANSA) and the Philadelphia Geriatric Center Moral Scale (PGCMS). At follow-up questions were also asked about the intervention.

Results: About 78% of the participants completed the course. Most of them were satisfied with the course (74%). The overall sample showed significantly more life satisfaction after the intervention. Participants with a psychotic disorder also improved significantly in life satisfaction but at the same time their depressive symptoms increased significantly. Participants with a moderate to high level of depressive symptoms at baseline had relatively favorable outcomes. Their life satisfaction had improved significantly and they especially had a better attitude toward their aging.

Conclusion: The program is feasible and acceptable for adults with severe mental illness and it has potential benefits for them. More research is needed to find out what explains the increase of depressive symptoms for participants with psychotic disorders.

Lancashire Care staff can request the full-text of this paper, email: