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Does ecological momentary assessment improve cognitive behavioural therapy for binge eating disorder? A pilot study

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The purpose of this pilot study was to test whether self-monitoring in CBT could be enhanced in order to improve the identification of proximal antecedents of binge eating in binge eating disorder (BED). CBT was modified by asking participants to monitor all eating intensively through ecological momentary assessment (EMA). A total of 41 females (mean BMI = 37.9; SD = 8.2) meeting DSM-IV criteria for BED were randomly assigned to one of two group treatments; CBT (n = 22) or CBT with EMA (n = 19). CBT with EMA differed from CBT in that for the first 2 weeks of treatment, participants completed detailed pocket diaries about mood, events, etc., when signalled at random by programmable wristwatches, as well as at all times when eating. All participants completed measures of eating (EDE-Q, TFEQ, EES) and general psychopathology (BDI, RSE) before treatment, at the end of treatment, and at 1-year follow-up. While both treatment groups showed improvement on the outcome variables of interest, the individual data gained via EMA did not significantly enhance standard CBT. Therefore, it is unlikely that further research incorporating EMA as a therapeutic technique within CBT for BED will be compelling. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
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Keywords: binge eating disorder; cognitive-behavioural therapy; ecological momentary assessment; treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA 2: Department of Psychiatry, Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, RI, USA 3: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, USA

Publication date: 2002-09-01

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