Comparison of group and individual cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients with bulimia nervosa




The clinical effectiveness of group and individual cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for bulimia nervosa (BN) was compared.


Sixty BN patients from hospitals and general practitioners in Sydney, Australia, were allocated randomly to group or individual CBT. Forty-four completed treatment (n = 22 in group CBT and n = 22 in individual CBT). Patients were assessed at pretreatment, posttreatment, and at 3 and 6 months follow-up with the Eating Disorder Examination-12 and self-report questionnaires examining weight and shape attitudes (Eating Disorder Inventory-2), social adjustment (Socail Adjustment Scale-Modified), self-esteem (Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale), and general psychopathology (Symptom Checklist 90R).


The effects of group and individual CBT were equivalent on most measures. However, a significantly greater proportion of individual CBT patients than group CBT patients were abstinent from bulimic behaviors at posttreatment, but not at follow-up.


This has implications for the delivery of cost-effective and clinically effective treatment for BN. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 33: 241–254, 2003.