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Outpatient CBT for Underweight Patients with Eating Disorders: Effectiveness Within a National Health Service (NHS) Eating Disorders Service

  • Paul E. Jenkins (a1) (a2), Ceri Morgan (a1) and Catherine Houlihan (a3) (a4)

Abstract

Background: Underweight eating disorders (EDs) are notoriously difficult to treat, although a growing evidence base suggests that outpatient cognitive behaviour therapy for EDs (CBT-ED) can be effective for a large proportion of individuals. Aims: To investigate the effectiveness of CBT-ED for underweight EDs in a ‘real-world’ settings. Method: Sixty-three adults with underweight EDs (anorexia nervosa or atypical anorexia nervosa) began outpatient CBT-ED in a National Health Service setting. Results: Fifty-four per cent completed treatment, for whom significant changes were observed on measures of ED symptoms, psychological distress and psychosocial impairment. There was also a large effect on body weight at end-of-treatment. Conclusions: The results suggest that good outcomes can be achieved by the majority of those who complete treatment, although treatment non-completion remains a significant barrier to recovery. Future studies should focus on improving treatment retention, as evidence suggests that CBT-ED in ‘real-world’ settings is effective.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dr Paul E. Jenkins, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AL, UK. E-mail: pej106@gmail.com

References

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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
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  • EISSN: 1469-1833
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Outpatient CBT for Underweight Patients with Eating Disorders: Effectiveness Within a National Health Service (NHS) Eating Disorders Service

  • Paul E. Jenkins (a1) (a2), Ceri Morgan (a1) and Catherine Houlihan (a3) (a4)
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