Psychotherapy for compulsive buying disorder: a systematic review

Psychiatry Res. 2014 Nov 30;219(3):411-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.05.037. Epub 2014 May 28.


Based on a literature review, the purpose is to identify the main therapeutic approaches for the compulsive buying disorder, a present time disorder characterized by excessive and uncontrollable concerns or behaviors related to buying or expenses, which may lead to adverse consequences. The systematic review was carried out by searching the electronic scientific bases Medline/Pubmed, ISI, PsycInfo. The search was comprised of full-text articles, written in Portuguese and English, with no time limit or restrictions on the type of study and sample. A total of 1659 references were found and, by the end, 23 articles were selected for this review. From the articles found, it was determined that, although there are case studies and clinical trials underlining the effectiveness of the treatment for compulsive buying, only those studies with a focus on the cognitive-behavioral therapy approach make evident the successful response to the treatment. The publication of new studies on the etiology and epidemiology of the disorder is necessary, in order to establish new forms of treatment and to verify the effectiveness and response of the Brazilian population to the existing protocols.

Keywords: Compulsive behavior; Compulsive shopping; Psychotherapeutic processes; Treatment protocols.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods
  • Commerce*
  • Compulsive Behavior / psychology
  • Compulsive Behavior / therapy*
  • Compulsive Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Compulsive Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Compulsive Personality Disorder / therapy*
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / diagnosis
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / psychology
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotherapy / methods*