Aftercare intervention through text messaging in the treatment of bulimia nervosa--feasibility pilot

Int J Eat Disord. 2006 Dec;39(8):633-8. doi: 10.1002/eat.20272.


Objective: Even with the best available treatment, most bulimia nervosa (BN) sufferers are not symptom free at the end of therapy and, for those who have achieved remission, risk of relapse is high. Thus, there is a need for aftercare or relapse prevention interventions after therapy. It is not yet known what type of intervention should be delivered, and how to suit patient needs while being mindful of cost and time constraints of service providers. This pilot study was conducted to explore the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a text messaging (short messaging service [SMS])-based intervention in the aftercare of BN patients who had received outpatient psychotherapy.

Method: A total of 21 patients with BN participated in the 6-month SMS-based intervention as a step-down treatment after outpatient therapy.

Results: Levels of use of the program were relatively low and attrition high, indicating limited acceptance of the intervention.

Conclusion: This study suggests that the SMS-based intervention would benefit from further adaptation to make it a more useful tool for the aftercare of patients after outpatient treatment for bulimia nervosa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aftercare*
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Bulimia Nervosa / therapy*
  • Communication*
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Development
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome