Are we really delivering evidence-based treatments for eating disorders? How eating-disordered patients describe their experience of cognitive behavioral therapy

Abstract

Psychotherapists report routinely not practising evidence-based treatments. However, there is little research examining the content of therapy from the patient perspective. This study examined the self-reported treatment experiences of individuals who had been told that they had received cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) for their eating disorder. One hundred and fifty-seven such sufferers (mean age = 25.69 years) were recruited from self-help organisations.
Participants completed an online survey assessing demographics, clinical characteristics, and therapy components. The use of evidence-based CBT techniques varied widely, with core elements for the eating disorders (e.g., weighing and food monitoring) used at well below the optimum level, while a number of unevidenced techniques were reported as being used commonly. research blog (7)Cluster analysis showed that participants received different patterns of intervention under the therapist label of ‘CBT’, with evidence-based CBT being the least common. Therapist age and patient diagnosis were related to the pattern of intervention delivered. It appears that clinicians are not subscribing to a transdiagnostic approach to the treatment of eating disorders. Patient recollections in this study support the conclusion that evidence-based practice is not routinely undertaken with this client group, even when the therapy offered is described as such.

Cowdrey, N.D., & Waller G. (December 2015) Are we really delivering evidence-based treatments for eating disorders? How eating-disordered patients describe their experience of cognitive behavioral therapyBehavior Research and Therapy, 75(72).

Weighing patients within cognitive-behavioral therapy for eating disorders: How, when and why

New Study (1)Abstract
While weight, beliefs about weight and weight changes are key issues in the pathology and treatment of eating disorders, there is substantial variation in whether and how psychological therapists weigh their patients. This review considers the reasons for that variability, highlighting the differences that exist in clinical protocols between therapies, as well as levels of reluctance on the part of some therapists and patients. It is noted that there have been substantial changes over time in the recommendations made within therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The review then makes the case for all CBT therapists needing to weigh their patients in session and for the patient to be aware of their weight, in order to give the best chance of cognitive, emotional and behavioral progress. Specific guidance is given as to how to weigh, stressing the importance of preparation of the patient and presentation, timing and execution of the task. Consideration is given to reasons that clinicians commonly report for not weighing patients routinely, and counter-arguments and solutions are presented. Finally, there is consideration of procedures to follow with some special groups of patients.

 

Weighing patients within cognitive-behavioural therapy for eating disorders: How, when and why:Behaviour Research and Therapy, Volume 70, Issue null, Pages 1-10 Glenn Waller, Victoria A. Mountford

 

Internet-based CBT Skills for Parents or Partners of Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa (AN) poses a major burden on families. Carers (e.g. parents or partners) of people with AN are often highly distressed and may inadvertently respond in ways that can contribute to the maintenance of the disorder, e.g. through high levels of over-involvement and criticism [also known as expressed emotion (EE)]. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a novel web-based systemic cognitive-behavioral (CBT) intervention for carers of people with AN, designed to reduce carer distress and teach skills in how to offer effective support. Carers of people with AN (n=64) were randomly allocated to either the web-intervention, overcoming anorexia online, with limited clinician supportive guidance (by email or phone), or to ad-hoc usual support from the UK patient and carer organization Beat. Carer outcomes were assessed at post-treatment (4 months) and follow-up (6 months). Compared with the control intervention, web-based treatment significantly reduced carers’ anxiety and depression (primary outcome) at post-treatment, with a similar trend in carers’ EE. Other secondary outcomes did not favor the online intervention. Gains were maintained at follow-up. This is the first ever study to use an online CBT program to successfully reduce carer distress and improve carers’ ability to support the person with AN.

Grover, M., Naumann, U., Mohammad-Dar, L., Glennon, D., Ringwood, S., Eisler, I., Williams, C., … Schmidt, U. (December 01, 2011). A randomized controlled trial of an Internet-based cognitive-behavioural skills package for carers of people with anorexia nervosa. Psychological Medicine, 41(12), 2581-2591.