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Cognitive behavioural self help reduced binge eating in women

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Questions Is cognitive behavioural self help effective in women with binge eating disorder (BED)? Does pure self help (PSH) or guided self help (GSH) lead to a better outcome?


Randomised controlled trial with 6 months follow up.


Community based study at Oxford University, UK.


72 women (mean age 40 y) with BED who had at least weekly bulimic episodes (defined by the Eating Disorder Examination [EDE]) but had not used vomiting, fasting, laxatives, or diuretics to control their shape or weight during the previous 3 months. Exclusion criteria were DSM-IV diagnosis of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa, age <18 years or >65 years, pregnancy, medical disorder or treatment that influenced eating habits or weight, current psychiatric treatment, or previous treatment for binge eating. Follow up was 94% at 3 months …

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  • Sources of funding: Wellcome Prize Studentship and Wellcome Principal Fellowship.

  • For correspondence: Dr C G Fairburn, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in Evidence-Based Mental Health.

  • * Fairburn CG. Overcoming binge eating. New York: Guilford Press, 1995.