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Fifteen minute consultation: A structured approach to the management of children and adolescents with medically unstable anorexia nervosa
  1. Elizabeth Allison1,
  2. Nicola Dawson2,
  3. Jane Phillips1,
  4. Catherine Lynch3,
  5. Jacinta Coleman3
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Airedale NHS foundation trust, Steeton, UK
  2. 2Community Eating Disorder Service for Children and Young People, Hillbrook Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Keighley, UK
  3. 3Monash Children's Hospital, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elizabeth Allison, Department of Paediatrics, Airedale NHS foundation trust, Skipton Road, Steeton, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD20 6TD, UK; lpri1970{at}


Assessing and managing children who are underweight is an integral part of paediatric practice. Young people with anorexia nervosa (AN) are mainly cared for in the community by specialist eating disorder services. However, increasing numbers require admission to paediatric wards with medical instability due to the complications of starvation. Despite recommendations published in the junior MARSIPAN report in 2012, many paediatricians still feel poorly equipped to care for these high-risk patients. This article aims to provide a safe and structured approach to the assessment and management of children and adolescents with medically unstable AN.

  • Adolescent Health
  • Nutrition
  • Child Psychiatry
  • Paediatric Practice
  • General Paediatrics
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  • Contributors EA codesigned the management guideline, conceived the original idea for the manuscript and wrote the draft versions. ND wrote the section on compulsory admission and treatment and clarified psychiatric points. JP wrote the table of nutritional content of the meal plans and clarified nutrition points. CL codesigned the guideline and clarified clinical points. JC codesigned the guideline and clarified clinical points. All authors contributed to the intellectual development of the final manuscript as submitted.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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