Therapeutic factors affecting the cognitive behavioral treatment of bulimia nervosa via telemedicine versus face-to-face delivery

Int J Eat Disord. 2011 Dec;44(8):687-91. doi: 10.1002/eat.20874. Epub 2010 Nov 15.


Objective: Recently, Mitchell et al. (Behav Res Ther, 46, 581-592, 2008) conducted a randomized controlled trial of an empirically supported treatment for bulimia nervosa (BN) delivered face-to-face (FTF-CBT) or via telemedicine (TV-CBT). Results suggested that the TV-CBT and FTF-CBT were generally equivalent in effectiveness. The objective of the current study was to examine ratings of therapeutic alliance factors in TV-CBT and FTF-CBT.

Method: Data obtained from 116 adults who met criteria for BN or eating disorder-not otherwise specified with binge eating or purging weekly and six doctoral-level psychologists who delivered the therapy were used in the analyses.

Results: Therapists generally endorsed greater differences between the treatment delivery methods than patients. Patients tended to make significantly higher ratings of therapeutic factors than therapists.

Discussion: TV-CBT is an acceptable method for the delivery of BN treatment compared to FTF-CBT, and TV-CBT is more easily accepted as a treatment delivery method by patients than therapists.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bulimia Nervosa / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome