JOURNAL ARTICLE

Investigating the use of CD-Rom CBT for bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder in an NHS adult outpatient eating disorders service

Lisa Graham, Mark Walton
Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 2011, 39 (4): 443-56
21208485

BACKGROUND: Many patients who experience bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED) find it hard to access evidence-based treatments. Rates of failure to enter outpatient services following initial assessment are high, as are dropout rates from specialist outpatient eating disorders services.

AIMS: To offer CD-Rom CBT, a cognitive-behavioural multi-media supported self-help treatment, in a locality-based outpatient NHS Eating Disorders Service to patients who have binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa.

METHOD: Patients referred to a catchment-based NHS outpatient eating disorders service who were assessed and had an eating disorder with a binge-eating component were offered CD-Rom based CBT (Overcoming Bulimia) whilst on the waiting list for individual CBT.

RESULTS: Forty patients completed the 8 sessions and attended the evaluation appointment (13 had BN, 27 had BED). For both groups, there were significant improvements in well-being and functioning, as well as significant reductions in problems and risk. There was also a significant reduction on the "Bulimic Subscale" of the EDI. These results were comparable with the original study findings (Schmidt, Treasure and Williams, 2001). Dropouts from the CD-Rom reflected rates common to other EDS treatments suggesting that CD-Rom did not directly impact upon service dropout rates.

CONCLUSIONS: Computer assisted CBT for Eating Disorders offers a promising, feasible and acceptable first step for patients who have bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder and access treatment from specialist eating disorders services.

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