Cognitive remediation therapy for eating disorders

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2015 Nov;28(6):468-72. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000192.


Purpose of review: This review compares the literature on cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) for eating disorders with findings in the field of schizophrenia, and discusses future directions for CRT for eating disorders.

Recent findings: First studies using a randomized controlled trial design show the added value of CRT for eating disorders. Patients reported lessened symptoms and further improvements in quality of life and cognitive flexibility. Furthermore, the acceptability of the intervention was good and attrition rates for CRT itself were low. Research into the use of cognitive remediation for schizophrenia is extensive and the results on global cognition appeared to be robust at post-treatment and durable at follow-up, with small to medium effect sizes. Recent articles within the field of schizophrenia emphasize the necessity of intrinsic motivation to translate cognitive gains into actual changes in everyday life.

Summary: A next step is to examine the impact of CRT for eating disorders on motivation. It is also important to focus on the transdiagnostic use of CRT, considering the overlap in cognitive inefficiencies between eating disorders. Another important step may be to develop effective personalized methods of CRT by taking into account individual differences in cognitive processes most relevant to improvement in outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognition*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy* / methods
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Quality of Life
  • Schizophrenia / therapy
  • Schizophrenic Psychology