Treatment Settings

Treatments can be delivered in different settings depending on the stage of illness and the level of intervention intensity required. Wherever possible, treatment will be provided in the community setting where the person can be supported by friends and family.

In-patient – the person is admitted to the hospital or private treatment centre for 24-hr nursing care. This may be in a specialised eating disorder treatment facility, in a general hospital, in an emergency department or in a mental health unit. Depending on the type of facility and the age of the person, the nurses will be paediatric nurses, general medical nurses or mental health nurses.

Inpatient treatment is designed for people who are severely unwell and generally focuses on medical stabilisation, improving nutrition and weight restoration. If the person is in a specialist eating disorder facility or a mental health unit, psychological therapy will also be available. This will be provided by mental health nurses, psychiatrists and allied health staff. In generalist settings, psychological support might also be available if the service utilises consultation-liaison mental health nurses and other staff.

Out-patient – the person is seen in an outpatient clinic for ongoing care, but does not stay in hospital. They may be seen by a team of different health professionals or one particular type of health professional, while maintaining other responsibilities, such as school or work.

Day program – often seen as a bridge between an inpatient admission and outpatient treatment, day programs provide treatment over the course of a day, for several days per week. Treatment involves support with meals and ongoing therapy, while the individual continues to live at home.