Examination of early group dynamics and treatment outcome in a randomized controlled trial of group cognitive behavior therapy for binge eating disorder

Emily M. Pisetsky, Nora E. Durkin, Ross D. Crosby, Kelly C. Berg, James E. Mitchell, Scott J. Crow, Stephen A. Wonderlich, Carol B. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


This study examined whether perceptions of group dynamics early in treatment predicted eating disorder outcomes in a sample of adults (N = 190) with binge eating disorder (BED) who participated in a 15-session group cognitive behavior therapy (gCBT) treatment with differing levels of therapist involvement (therapist led, therapist assisted, and self-help). The group dynamic variables included the Engaged subscale of the Group Climate Questionnaire - Short Form and the Group Attitude Scale, measured at session 2 and session 6. Treatment outcome was assessed in terms of global eating disorder severity and frequency of binge eating at end of treatment, 6-month, and 12-month follow-up. Session 2 engagement and group attitudes were associated with improved outcome at 12-month follow-up. No other group dynamic variables were significantly associated with treatment outcome. Group dynamic variables did not differ by levels of therapist involvement. Results indicate that early engagement and attitudes may be predictive of improved eating disorder psychopathology at 12 month follow-up. However, the pattern of mostly insignificant findings indicates that in gCBT, group process variables may be less influential on outcomes relative to other treatment components. Additionally, participants were able to engage in group treatment regardless of level of therapist involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-78
Number of pages5
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015



  • Binge eating disorder
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Eating disorder
  • Group therapy

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