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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2009 Mar-Apr;5(2):257-62. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2009.01.005. Epub 2009 Jan 18.

Brief, four-session group CBT reduces binge eating behaviors among bariatric surgery candidates.

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  • 1Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.



The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief, 4-session cognitive behavioral, group psychotherapy for binge eating among bariatric surgery candidates at an academic medical center. Binge eating behaviors have been linked to poorer outcomes among bariatric surgery patients, and binge eating disorder have be considered a contraindication in surgery programs, some of which have mandated preoperative binge eating treatment. However, no previous studies have examined whether a preoperative binge eating intervention could successfully reduce binge eating behaviors among severely obese bariatric surgery candidates.


A total of 243 bariatric surgery candidates completed a brief cognitive behavioral group treatment for binge eating behaviors and were administered the Binge Eating Scale and reported the number of weekly binge eating episodes at the initial psychological evaluation and again after the group sessions. The study used a pre-post intervention design.


The results suggested significant reductions in both binge eating behaviors and cognitions and binge eating episodes after the group intervention. The intervention's effectiveness did not differ according to gender or ethnicity (black versus white).


A brief cognitive behavioral intervention can reduce binge eating behaviors among bariatric surgery candidates. Given the potential influence of binge eating on outcomes, bariatric surgery programs could benefit by treating binge eating before surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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