Dialectical behavior therapy for bulimia nervosa

Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Apr;158(4):632-4. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.158.4.632.


Objective: The effects of dialectical behavior therapy adapted for the treatment of binge/purge behaviors were examined.

Method: Thirty-one women (averaging at least one binge/purge episode per week) were randomly assigned to 20 weeks of dialectical behavior therapy or 20 weeks of a waiting-list comparison condition. The manual-based dialectical behavior therapy focused on training in emotion regulation skills.

Results: An intent-to-treat analysis showed highly significant decreases in binge/purge behavior with dialectical behavior therapy compared to the waiting-list condition. No significant group differences were found on any of the secondary measures.

Conclusions: The use of dialectical behavior therapy adapted for treatment of bulimia nervosa was associated with a promising decrease in binge/purge behaviors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Bulimia / diagnosis
  • Bulimia / psychology
  • Bulimia / therapy*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Research Design
  • Treatment Outcome