A randomized controlled comparison of guided self-help cognitive behavioral therapy and behavioral weight loss for binge eating disorder

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We performed a randomized controlled study to test the relative efficacy of guided self-help (gsh) cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBTgsh) and behavioral weight loss treatment (BWLgsh) treatments for binge eating disorder (BED). To provide an additional partial control for non-specific influences of attention, a third control (CON) treatment condition was included. We tested the treatments using a guided self-help approach given the promising results from initial studies using minimal therapist guidance. Ninety consecutive overweight patients (19 males, 71 females) with BED were randomly assigned (5:5:2 ratio) to one of three treatments: CBTgsh (N=37), BWLgsh (N=38), or CON (N=15). The three 12-week treatment conditions were administered individually following guided self-help protocols. Overall, 70 (78 % ) completed treatments; CBTgsh (87 % ) and CON (87 % ) had significantly higher completion rates than BWLgsh (67 % ). Intent-to-treat analyses revealed that CBTgsh had significantly higher remission rates (46 % ) than either BWLgsh (18 % ) or CON (13 % ). Weight loss was minimal and differed little across treatments. The findings suggest that CBT, administered via guided self-help, demonstrates efficacy for BED, but not for obesity. The findings support CBT administered via guided self-help as a first step in the treatment of BED and provide evidence for its specific effects.

AuthorGrilo, Carlos M. & Masheb, Robin M.
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy

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