The primary goal of the authors of this article was to compare the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy as a treatment for three eating disorders—purging and non-purging bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.
These three eating disorders all have something in common, as they are all classified as mental disorders. Because these disorders share some common ground, the researchers wanted to look at where they differed—in this case, how people suffering from these eating disorders differed in treatment response to cognitive behavioral therapy and how the rates of dropout from treatment differed.
It was explained in the background section that clinical differences between people diagnosed with these three disorders have been studied but differences in treatment responses have never been formally investigated. The authors hypothesized that the subjects with binge eating disorder would show the most improvement from the CBT treatment along with the lowest dropout rate, while they predicted that subjects with purging bulimia would show the least improvement from the treatment along with the highest dropout rate. Subjects with non-purging bulimia were predicted to have dropout and treatment success rates somewhere between the rates for the other two groups.
The primary findings of the authors was that, among the subjects that completed the full CBT program, there was the highest number of patients in full remission from the binge eating disorder group. There were fewer patients in full remission from both of the bulimia groups (the rates were similar between these two groups). They also found that there was a higher dropout rate from the treatment program among the patients with binge eating disorder compared to the patients with bulimia. The treatment dropout rates were similar for patients with purging and non-purging bulimia. It is important to note that the researchers took other factors into account… Here’s the full essay.