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Keywords:

  • self-help;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • binge-eating disorder

Abstract

Objective:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is efficacious for the treatment of bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge-eating disorder (BED). As a number of factors limit the availability of CBT, self-help manuals have been developed to make the treatment more widely available.

Method:

Published studies evaluating the efficacy of self-help programs in the treatment of BN and BED were reviewed.

Results:

Controlled studies of self-help programs for BN and BED have often employed a waiting list control group, and indicate that self-help provides more benefit than remaining on a waiting list. However, fewer studies have utilized a more active control group, and these studies have not been as positive.

Conclusion:

In general, open and wait-list trials indicate that self-help is helpful in treating BN and BED, but there is little evidence for the specific efficacy of self-help in comparison to other treatments. Additional studies of self-help are needed to determine the specific utility of self-help interventions for BN and BED. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2008