National Eating Disorders Association

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IOP versus Partial Hospitalization (new here)

Hi all,
Our 15 year old daughter was diagnosed with Anorexia about a month ago after a very rapid weight loss over the course of about six weeks. Since the diagnosis, she has been under the care of a nutritionist/psychotherapist. Her weight has essentially remained flat. However, she has become more depressed and food-obsessed. She eats but is very restrictive in what she will eat removing most carbs, dairy and a lot of proteins from her diet. I am constantly trying to find new ways to get more of these into her diet.
Her labs are so far still good but her pediatrician and her therapist both agree she needs a higher level of care. And her ped prescribed an antidepressant and referred her to a psychiatrist.
What they don't agree on is the level of care she needs. The therapist wants her to go to an in-patient (or barring that partial hospitalization) program. The ped says Intensive Outpatient is what she needs now.
We have appointments to tour both programs and in the case of the partial hospitalization program (12 hours a day, 7 days a week), also get an assessment. I am concerned about having a kid who is a real homebody but also derives a great deal of pleasure (still) from her school environment moved to an institutional setting at this point. But I am also frustrated by our lack of progress.
I would really like input from people who have gone through either or both, or gone in a different direction. Thanks in advance for your help.

Iop and PHP

Are actually both outpatient types of treatment. Inpatient and residential are the highest level of care. It sounds like inpatient, especially if she's not getting better or really able to care for herself while at home, is best at this point. I am actually about to go into residential treatment next month myself. That is my opinion. Hope that helps.


Hi summersoul,
It is so hard to know what to do. We want to do what is best for our kids. When my daughter was 15 year old we put her into a residential center for 2 months. when she was released she went into IOP. For my daughter she needed the residential care. While she was there they did schooling, it was only partial day so she only received partial credit. She is now a senior and she will be graduating on time.
We were able to get her into a great program. She learned a lot of skills, my husband and I learned a lot of skills. She met with a dietician weekly and a therapist 1-2 times a week. Part of the therapy time was family therapy, over the phone mostly. They taught her about body image, about what Eating Disorders do to our brains, our emotions and our physical bodies. She was so fortunate to get to keep with the same ED center when she did IOP, that helped her a lot. Her IOP was about 3 hours a day 3 times a week.
Also you might want to check what the insurance will cover.
You can always try IOP and if that does not work you can look into residential. I think it is a great idea to look into both treatment centers before you decide what to do.
It is so stressful. Please take care of yourself, and realize that you are doing the best you can and you will make the best decision that you can. You will have a learning curve about ED, and about what is best for your daughter. Best of luck. There is hope. I have learned to enjoy moments each day, it has helped me a lot.
My daughter is 18 now, she is maintaining her weight and she is making great progress in dealing with her ED and also in the other parts of her life that were causing her ED. There are still rough times and I am so proud of her for finding healthier ways of dealing with them.
Hang in there. You are not alone.



We are also in the same situation. Our 11 year old daughter is suffering with eating disorder. We are currently have outpatient treatment. Weekly once with nutritionist & once with Psychologist. She is trying to follow the meal plan, but not 100% yet. In the last 2 weeks she gained weight once, & then lost weight next time. Though she is following 80% of the meal plan given by nutritionist, we are still looking into taking her to residential program. But she loves her school & doesn't want to miss even a single day. So not sure if we need to continue outpatient or join her in residential. Can someone please share your experiences? Thanks.