These programs are used when it is determined that individuals need more support than can be offered by outpatient treatment.
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) may meet 2-3 days a week for 3-5 hours a day. Services generally include counseling, nutritional therapy, group therapy and a structured meal. Patients are medically stable and do not need daily medical monitoring. They also are psychiatrically stable and have sufficient control in normal social, educational or vocational situations and are expected to continue to make progress toward recovery.
A partial hospital program (PHP) is a more intense program, meeting 5-7 days a week for 6-10 hours a day. This is sometimes referred to as “day hospital”. Patients can live at home when they are not in treatment so they can continue to work or attend school. Many partial hospitalization programs have supportive housing options for individual who do not live near the clinic.
Structured eating sessions are provided along with various types of group therapy. Individuals will meet with their nutritionist, therapist and psychiatrist and medical monitoring will be available. These individuals are considered unable to function in normal situations without engaging in pathological weight control behaviors such as fasting, limited food intake, or daily bingeing and purging.
Sometimes these programs are used as alternatives to inpatient hospitalization. For instance, a patient who has not done well in outpatient, may try an intensive outpatient or partial hospital program before considering inpatient hospitalization. Patients who are being discharged from an inpatient hospital program may need the extra support and time and may decide to transition (step down) to a partial hospital program.