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Group Version of Enhanced CBT Effective for Eating Disorders

Findings could lead to increased availability of evidence-based treatment

mother talking to a teen daughter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A group version of enhanced cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT-E) is effective at reducing eating disorder psychopathology, according to a study published in the August issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Stephanie Wade, from the University of Western Australia in Perth, and colleagues randomized 40 individuals with eating disorders and a body mass index (BMI) of ≥18 kg/m² to an immediate-start or delayed-start to compare therapeutic effects of group CBT-E with a waitlist control.

The researchers found that the first eight weeks of group CBT-E were more effective at reducing Global Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) scores than no treatment (waitlist control). A good outcome (defined as a Global EDE-Q within one standard deviation of Australian community norms plus BMI ≥18.5 kg/m²) was achieved by 67.9 percent of treatment completers. Additionally, symptom abstinence was reported by 14.3 percent of treatment completers. There were also significant improvements in clinical perfectionism, self-esteem, interpersonal difficulties, and mood intolerance.

"This study demonstrated that a group version of CBT-E can be effective at reducing eating disorder psychopathology in a transdiagnostic sample of individuals with eating disorders," the authors write. "Group CBT-E could provide a means of increasing availability of evidence-based treatment for eating disorders."

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