Levels of Care: Partial Hospitalization Program
The Partial Hospital Program is a unique treatment option that allows patients to bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatient care.
The Center for Eating Disorders’ Partial Hospital Program (PHP) is an important and highly recommended part of the Center’s stepped-care approach. The transition from a highly structured and supportive hospital environment back to independent living can be challenging and overwhelming. To help patients successfully navigate this transition, the PHP is a day treatment program that has been designed to complement and extend the inpatient program’s structure and therapeutic care. PHP can also be very useful for individuals who don’t necessarily require inpatient hospitalization but could benefit from a more intensive level of care than IOP or outpatient therapy can provide.
Important elements and goals of PHP include:
- Full days of extended treatment from 7:30 am – 7:00 pm, 7 days per week
- A continued focus on normalization of nutrition and symptom blockade, while on the unit and at home
- Patients continue to explore the function of the eating disorder in their life while working to strengthen and develop other healthy aspects of themselves separate from the illness (i.e. values, personal strengths, important life roles)
PHP provides the important elements of structure and therapy throughout the day, balanced with the responsibility of returning home each evening. During their independent time away from the unit, patients are expected to practice newly developed coping skills and self-care while nurturing a commitment to their recovery outside of the hospital. PHP, like the inpatient program, incorporates a combination of treatment modalities and daily structure to support patients as they progress through each phase of their recovery.
Major components of the Partial Hospital Program include:
- Multidisciplinary Treatment Team/Continuity of Care: PHP treatment teams include specially trained staff from a full range of disciplines including psychology, social work, counseling, nursing, nutrition/dietetics, art therapy and occupational therapy. Each treatment team is led by a board-certified psychiatrist. We are committed to the continuity of care for our patients. In order to facilitate smooth transitions and continued progress, PHP patients are able to continue working with the same psychiatrist, therapists and family therapists they had during inpatient treatment.
- Daily Assessments: PHP patients complete “Intake Assessments” upon arrival to PHP each morning and have the opportunity to process their at-home experience with a nurse each day when they return to treatment. Parents of minors are also asked to complete a daily parent intake form to help participate in this feedback about their child’s progress in treatment.
- Individual Psychotherapy: PHP patients continue meeting with their psychologist 2x/week to work through underlying issues that may be contributing to eating disorder thoughts and symptoms. Special attention is paid to the identification and management of stressors encountered by patients during their time away from the unit each evening.
- Family Therapy: Family therapy remains an integral part of treatment as patients go through PHP. Because patients are returning home each day, it can be an important time for family members to practice providing support for symptom blockade and for working on improved communication with their loved one.
- Group Therapy: Group therapy in PHP continues to be the principle mode of treatment. Some groups are designed with an educational focus to help patients understand the illness and to improve knowledge regarding consequences and effects of eating disorders. Other groups have been developed to allow for exploration of underlying issues related to the eating disorder and provide opportunities for new core beliefs and positive behaviors to emerge. Many of the group therapies offered in PHP cover the same topics as the Inpatient groups but the focus of therapy shifts to issues that arise specifically during this transitional level of care.
- Nutritional Counseling: During PHP, our staff of registered dietitians (RDs) spend additional time helping patients to plan ahead for the nutritional needs that take place after patients leave the unit each evening. RDs will help monitor and process any issues that arise as they focus on helping patients maintain their nutritional plans on and off the unit.
- Medication management/Medical consultation
- Expressive arts therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Support Groups: Once in PHP, patients are encouraged to spend more time developing appropriate support systems outside of the unit that can be sustained after the completion of treatment. Based on the individual needs of the patient, this may include family and friends, community-based eating disorder support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous, Al Anon, or other recovery-focused groups.
The Center for Eating Disorders’ PHP can accommodate approximately 30 patients. Individuals typically transition out of PHP after about two to three weeks, but this is dependent on the individual's unique situation and readiness. Upon successful discharge from PHP, many patients step-down into the Intensive Outpatient Program, while others may transition directly to an outpatient treatment team.