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Int J Eat Disord. 2011 Apr;44(3):249-61. doi: 10.1002/eat.20812.

Appetite-focused dialectical behavior therapy for the treatment of binge eating with purging: a preliminary trial.

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Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA.



This treatment development study investigated the acceptability and efficacy of a modified version of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for bulimia nervosa (BN), entitled appetite focused DBT (DBT-AF).


Thirty-two women with binge/purge episodes at least one time per week were randomly assigned to 12 weekly sessions of DBT-AF (n = 18) or to a 6-week delayed treatment control (n = 14). Participants completed the EDE interview and self-report measures at baseline, 6 weeks, and posttreatment.


Treatment attrition was low, and DBT-AF was rated highly acceptable. At 6 weeks, participants who were receiving DBT-AF reported significantly fewer BN symptoms than controls. At posttest, 26.9% of the 26 individuals who entered treatment (18 initially assigned and 8 from the delayed treatment control) were abstinent from binge/purge episodes for the past month; 61.5% no longer met full or subthreshold criteria for BN. Participants demonstrated a rapid rate of response to treatment and achieved clinically significant change.


Results suggest that DBT-AF warrants further investigation as an alternative to DBT or cognitive behavior therapy for BN.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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