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Use of text messaging in the aftercare of patients with bulimia nervosa

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The development of a text messaging (SMS) based intervention for the aftercare treatment of bulimia nervosa is reported. The programme is offered to bulimic patients for 6 months following discharge from inpatient psychotherapy in a German hospital for psychosomatic medicine. The intervention consists of weekly messages from the patients on their bulimic symptomatology and a corresponding weekly feedback that is a mixture of pre-programmed parts and individually tailored information. An ongoing pilot study is described, designed to investigate the acceptance, the practicability, and the effectiveness of the intervention. Preliminary results indicate that the programme is well-accepted and gives support to bulimic patients after finishing inpatient treatment. Advantages and limitations of the use of the SMS intervention programme in the treatment of bulimia nervosa are discussed. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

Keywords: aftercare; bulimia nervosa; short message service text messaging

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre for Psychotherapy Research, Stuttgart, Germany 2: Psychosomatische Fachklinik Bad Pyrmont, Germany

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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