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Eating Disorders: Core Interventions in the Treatment and Management of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders: Core Interventions in the Treatment and Management of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders

NICE Clinical Guidelines - National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK)

Version: 2004

Treatment and management of bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa was first described in 1979 in a paper titled ‘Bulimia nervosa: an ominous variant of anorexia nervosa’ (Russell, 1979). In this paper Russell described bulimia nervosa as ‘intractable’. This view is no longer held. Within two years of Russell’s paper a report was published describing a promising psychological treatment for the disorder, a specific form of CBT (Fairburn, 1981), and the following year there were two reports that antidepressant drugs also had a beneficial effect (Pope & Hudson, 1982; Walsh et al., 1982). Since then, bulimia nervosa has been the subject of much research interest. There have been over 60 randomised controlled trials evaluating a range of treatments for bulimia nervosa and their findings are remarkably consistent. Evidence-based treatment is certainly possible.

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