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Int J Eat Disord. 1995 May;17(4):323-9.

Factors affecting dropout rate from cognitive-behavioral group treatment for bulimia nervosa.

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  • 1Eating Disorders Clinic, Ottawa Civic Hospital, Ontario, Canada.


The aim of this study was to retrospectively identify clinical variables assessed prior to treatment which were predictive of patients' dropping out versus completing a 10 week group cognitive-behavioral treatment program for bulimia nervosa. Following a lengthy initial assessment, 81 women meeting DSM-III-R criteria for bulimia nervosa (BN) were referred to one of twelve 10-week groups of 8 to 12 patients having bulimic symptoms. The dropout rate for those meeting full DSM-III-R criteria for BN was found to be 28.7%. A series of seven discriminant function analyses were performed to determine whether dropouts differed from completers in terms of depression, anxiety, difficulties in trust and relating to others, bulimic symptom severity, family environment, weight history and symptom duration and severity of bulimic cognitions. Of these, only the factor assessing difficulties trusting and relating to others was found to significantly discriminate dropouts from completers. Implications of the findings are discussed in terms of clinical and research relevance in the field of eating disorders.

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