Researchers from the Eating Disorders Research Program at the University of Minnesota examined long-term outcomes of cognitive behavioral therapy, delivered 3 different ways to 51 people suffering from a binge eating disorder.

There was a therapist-led condition, where the psychologist provided psycho-educational information for the first half hour and led a group discussion for the second half hour of each session; there was a partial self-help condition, where participants viewed a 30-min psycho-educational videotape, followed by a therapist-led discussion; and finally, there was a structured self-help condition, where participants watched a psycho-educational videotape and led their own discussion.
The 51 subjects were randomly assigned to the 3 types of groups: there were 16 participants in the therapist-led condition; 19 in the partial self-help condition; and 16 in the structured self-help condition.

The investigators found reductions in binge eating episodes as well as in associated symptoms with all three treatments at post, 1-month, 6-month, and 1-year follow-up, with no significant differences among the three conditions. These findings suggest that cognitive behavioral therapy for binge eating disorders can be delivered successfully using videotape and a structured self-help group format, and that improvements in binge eating are maintained up to 1 year follow-up.

Citation: Peterson CB, Mitchell JE, Engbloom S, Nugent S, Pederson Mussell M, Crow SJ, Thuras P. Self-help versus therapist-led group cognitive-behavioral treatment of binge eating disorder at follow-up. International Journal of Eating Disorders 2001 Dec;30(4):363-74. [email protected]