Continuum of Care
Walden is one of the first hospitals in the country to provide a full continuum of care for patients with eating disorders, including inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient care. We offer inpatient programs for our psychiatric patients.
Since the late 1980s, the “continuum of care” approach has evolved for treating many illnesses. The trend has been toward a decrease in the length of hospital stays, but with more transitional care. For eating disorders, the move from intensive inpatient care to outpatient therapy generally has become more gradual.
When more transitional treatment options are available, treatment can also be individualized. Each patient can be directed to the most clinically appropriate, cost-effective treatment. As with any behavioral disorder, different people require different types of treatment, be it inpatient care, residential care, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient care.
The key at each stage is to neither under-treat nor over-treat patients, but to monitor patients continuously and adjust their treatment based on their condition at any given time. Hopefully, the patient will advance through the continuum, but recovery from an eating disorder or psychiatric disorder is not easy. In some cases, patients will slip back to a level from which they previously advanced.
Over time, as our knowledge evolves, we expect the “continuum of care” approach will become even more effective for treating not only patients with eating disorders, but those with psychiatric disorders and co-occurring disorders as well.