Researchers from the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust in Chorley, UK, investigated the efficacy of a CD-ROM offering Cognitive Behavioral self-help treatment to patients with binge eating disorder and/or bulimia nervosa, many of whom find it hard to access treatment otherwise. Rates of failure to enter treatment and to stay with treatment are extremely high for this population.
Patients referred to a catchment-based NHS outpatient eating disorders service who were assessed and had an eating disorder with a binge-eating component were offered  CD-ROM based CBT (Overcoming Bulimia) whilst on the waiting list for individual CBT.

Forty patients completed the 8 sessions with the  CD-ROM  based CBT (Overcoming Bulimia) and attended the evaluation appointment (13 had bulimia nervosa, 27 had binge eating disorder).
For both groups, there were significant improvements in well-being and functioning, as well as significant reductions in problems and risk. There was also a significant reduction on the "Bulimic Subscale" of the EDI. These results were comparable with the original study findings (Schmidt, Treasure and Williams, 2001). Dropouts from the CD-ROM  reflected rates common to other EDS treatments suggesting that CD-ROM did not directly impact upon service dropout rates.

The study concludes that computer assisted CBT for Eating Disorders offers a promising, feasible and acceptable first step for patients who have bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, providing access to treatment by specialists in eating disorders.

Citation:  Graham L, Walton M. Investigating the use of CD-Rom CBT for bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder in an NHS adult outpatient eating disorders service. Behavioral & Cognitive Psychotherapy. 2011 Jul;39 (4):pages 443-56. Epub 2011 Jan 5. [email protected]