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New psychotherapy has potential to treat majority of cases of eating disorders
Date:12/14/2008

e was recommended across the NHS.

Now, in a study published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Professor Fairburn and colleagues have shown that the enhanced version of the treatment is not only more potent than the earlier NICE-recommended treatment, but it can also be used to treat both bulimia nervosa and the atypical eating disorders, making it suitable for over 80 percent of cases of eating disorders.

"Eating disorders are serious mental health problems and can be very distressing for both patients and their families," says Professor Fairburn. "Now for the first time, we have a single treatment which can be effective at treating the majority of cases without the need for patients to be admitted into hospital."

154 people were recruited for the study which was based in Oxfordshire and Leicestershire. Two versions of CBT-E were compared: a simple version that focused solely on the eating disorder and a second, more complex version that simultaneously addressed commonly associated problems such as low self-esteem and extreme perfectionism. Both treatments comprised twenty 50-minute outpatient appointments over twenty weeks

The researchers found that the majority of patients responded well and rapidly to the two forms of CBT-E and that the changes were sustained over the following year, the time at which relapse is most likely to occur. Approximately two-thirds of those who completed treatment made a complete and lasting response with many of the remainder showing substantial improvement. Patients with bulimia nervosa or an atypical eating disorder responded equally well, though a planned sub-analysis showed that patients with particularly complex clinical features responded better to the more complex treatment and vice versa.

"This new psychotherapy is an effective and relatively straightforward intervention for treating most clinical disorders seen in adults," says Professor Fairburn. "It is increas
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Contact: Craig Brierley
c.brierley@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-7329
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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