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Int J Eat Disord. 2008 Mar;41(2):97-112.

A critical evaluation of the efficacy of self-help interventions for the treatment of bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.



Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is efficacious for the treatment of bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge-eating disorder (BED). As a number of factors limit the availability of CBT, self-help manuals have been developed to make the treatment more widely available.


Published studies evaluating the efficacy of self-help programs in the treatment of BN and BED were reviewed.


Controlled studies of self-help programs for BN and BED have often employed a waiting list control group, and indicate that self-help provides more benefit than remaining on a waiting list. However, fewer studies have utilized a more active control group, and these studies have not been as positive.


In general, open and wait-list trials indicate that self-help is helpful in treating BN and BED, but there is little evidence for the specific efficacy of self-help in comparison to other treatments. Additional studies of self-help are needed to determine the specific utility of self-help interventions for BN and BED.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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