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Family therapy does not improve outcomes in adolescents with bulimia nervosa compared to CBT guided self-care

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Is family-based therapy more effective than cognitive behavioural therapy guided self-care in the treatment of bulimia nervosa in adolescents?

Schmidt U, Lee S, Beecham J, et al. A randomized controlled trial of family therapy and cognitive behavior therapy guided self-care for adolescents with bulimia nervosa and related disorders. Am J Psychiatry 2007;164:591–8.


Embedded ImageDesign:

Randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

Single blind (assessors blinded).

Embedded ImageFollow-up period:

Twelve months (6 months’ treatment plus 6 months’ post-treatment follow-up).

Embedded ImageSetting:

Four eating disorder services, UK; September 2000 to May 2003.

Embedded ImagePatients:

Adolescents aged 13–20 years with DSM-IV bulimia nervosa or unspecified eating disorder (defined as binge eating and/or purging <2 times per week or for <3 months; or use of inappropriate compensatory behaviour without binging), who had a partner or family member able to participate in family treatment. Exclusions: low body mass index; learning disability, severe …

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  • Source of funding: The Health Foundation, UK.