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Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2012 May;20(3):232-9. doi: 10.1002/erv.1131. Epub 2011 Jul 26.

Motivation-focused treatment for eating disorders: a sequential trial of enhanced cognitive behaviour therapy with and without preceding motivation-focused therapy.

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  • 1Centre for Clinical Interventions, Northbridge, Western Australia, Australia.



To evaluate the effectiveness of a motivation-focused intervention prior to individual cognitive behavioural eating disorder treatment.


Enhanced cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT-E) in its usual form was compared with CBT-E preceded by four sessions of motivation-focused therapy (MFT) (MFT + CBT-E). Participants were adult outpatients seen at a specialist eating disorder clinic in Western Australia, who met criteria for a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition eating disorder. A sequential trial of CBT-E as usual (n = 43) and MFT + CBT-E (n = 52) was conducted over a 40-month period.


The MFT phase was associated with significant increases in readiness to change. There were no significant between-group differences in treatment completion rates, and treatment completers in both conditions reported comparable reductions in eating disorder symptoms over time.


In this sample, MFT + CBT-E was not associated with superior treatment outcome when compared with CBT-E as usual.

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

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