Prognostic indicators in bulimia nervosa treated with cognitive-behavioral group therapy
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Prognostic indicators of short-term outcome were identified in 69 women with the DSM-III-R diagnosis of bulimia nervosa who participated in a weekly 10-session structured cognitive-behavioral outpatient group program. Prior to treatment, all subjects completed the computerized Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS), the Moos Family Environment Scale (FES), the Diagnostic Survey for Eating Disorders (DSED), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Hopkins Symptom Checklist, Revised (SCL-90-R), the Bulimic Cognitive Distortions Scale (BCDS), the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI), and the Bulimic Symptoms Checklist (BSCL). The latter three scales were readministered on completion of the 10-week group. Symptom improvement was assessed by examining percentage reduction in binge frequency, purge frequency, and summed scores for the EDI subscales Bulimia, Drive for Thinness, and Body Dissatisfaction. The only significant predictor of improvement in binge frequency and bulimic cognitions was family environment. Conflicted, controlling, and over-organized family environments appear to impede both reductions in binge frequency and changes in bulimic cognitions. Reduction in vomit frequency was associated with weight history and with laxative or diuretic use. The implications for planning psychotherapeutic interventions in bulimia nervosa are discussed.
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