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A Comparison of Nutritional Management with Stress Management in the Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

R. G. Laessle*
Affiliation:
Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Munich
P. J. V. Beumont
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Sydney, Australia
P. Butow
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Sydney
W. Lennerts
Affiliation:
Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Munich
M. O'Connor
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney
K. M. Pirke
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Chemistry and Division of Psychoneuroendocrinology, Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Munich
S. W. Touyz
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Psychology, Westmead Hospital, Sydney
S. Waadt
Affiliation:
Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Munich
*
Department of Clinical Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Kraepelinstr. 10, 8000 Munich 40, Germany

Abstract

In a comparison of nutritional management (NM) and stress management (SM) for treatment of bulimia nervosa, 55 female patients were randomly assigned to either treatment. Therapy consisted of 15 sessions in a group over three months, by the end of which, patients under both treatment conditions showed a significant reduction in the frequency of binge eating and vomiting and a significant improvement in various psychopathological features such as body dissatisfaction and depression. All improvements were maintained over 12–month follow-up. NM produced a more rapid improvement in general eating behaviour, a faster reduction in binge frequency and a higher abstinence rate from binge eating. SM led to greater positive changes in certain psychopathological features such as feelings of ineffectiveness, interpersonal distrust and anxiety. NM should be regarded as a necessary first intervention in all bulimic patients. Further psychological therapy, such as SM, is indicated as well for some patients, depending on their specific psychological difficulties.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © 1991 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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