Cognitive behavioural therapy for eating disorders: how do clinician characteristics impact on treatment fidelity?

About this study

Background: Clinicians routinely report not practising evidence-based treatments with eating disorders. There has been limited research investigating the impact of adaptable clinician characteristics such as self-efficacy and therapeutic optimism in this area. This study evaluated if there is a relationship between clinician therapeutic optimism, self-efficacy and the provision of evidence-based practice in the treatment of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Method: A survey developed for this study was administered to 100 psychologists who were recruited online via a range of organisations affiliated with psychology and/or eating disorders. The survey measured demographic factors, eating disorder treatment knowledge, treatment fidelity, the use of individual treatment components and a range of clinician characteristics including self-efficacy and therapeutic optimism. Results: Results demonstrated that clinician self-efficacy was positively associated with and predicted treatment fidelity. Therapeutic optimism had significant low correlations with treatment fidelity but did not predict treatment fidelity. Conclusion: These findings would suggest that strengthening clinician self-efficacy is useful in improving evidence-based practice in the treatment of binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa and may also have implications in the training of clinicians. The study also demonstrated that the use of a range of knowledge translation strategies are valuable in enhancing clinician adherence to evidence-based practice. Further research with direct measures of treatment fidelity is needed to clarify these findings.

Research TeamBrown, C. E.; Nicholson Perry, K.
InstitutionAustralian College of Applied Psychology
JournalJournal of eating disorders
Is Free ?Yes
Ethics Approval Number29720217
Project Start Date27 February 2017
ParticipantsPsychologists residing in Australia or NZ, praciticing cognitive behavioural therapy and having treated at minimum one client with an eating disorder in the past 12 months.
Whats InvolvedParticipation in this study will involve an online questionnaire taking the participant approximately 15 minutes to complete.
Contact Details

For participants with inquiries or concerns, please email Caroline Brown at or Kathryn Nicholson Perry at

Study link -

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