Outcome From a randomized controlled trial of group therapy for binge eating disorder: Comparing dialectical behavior therapy adapted for binge eating to an active comparison group therapy

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Binge Eating Disorder (DBT-BED) aims to reduce binge eating by improving adaptive emotion-regulation skills. Preliminary findings have been promising but have only compared DBT-BED to a wait-list. To control for the hypothesized specific effects of DBT-BED, the present study compared DBT-BED to an active comparison group therapy (ACGT). Men and women (n=101) meeting DSM-IV BED research criteria were randomly assigned to 20 group sessions of DBT-BED (n=50) or ACGT (n=51). DBT-BED had a significantly lower dropout rate (4%) than ACGT (33.3%). Linear Mixed Models revealed that posttreatment binge abstinence and reductions in binge frequency were achieved more quickly for DBT-BED than for ACGT (posttreatment abstinence rate=64% for DBT-BED vs. 36% for ACGT) though differences did not persist over the 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up assessments (e.g., 12-month follow-up abstinence rate=64% for DBT-BED vs. 56% for ACGT). Secondary outcome measures revealed no sustained impact on emotion regulation. Although both DBT-BED and ACGT reduced binge eating, DBT-BED showed significantly fewer dropouts and greater initial efficacy (e.g., at posttreatment) than ACGT. The lack of differential findings over follow-up suggests that the hypothesized specific effects of DBT-BED do not show long-term impact beyond those attributable to nonspecific common therapeutic factors.

AuthorSafer, Robinson and Joe
JournalBehavior Therapy
Volume41(1):106-20
Year2010

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