Psychosocial and pharmacological treatment of eating disorders: A review of research findings

Carol B. Peterson, James E. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on the treatment of eating disorders has focused primarily on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and, more recently, interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). Numerous studies have shown that CBT is helpful in reducing symptoms of bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. In addition, CBT has been found to be superior or comparable to other psychotherapies in reducing bulimic symptoms. Preliminary findings indicate that CBT and IPT produce similar results at follow-up for bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Antidepressant medications are also useful in the treatment of bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, but are less likely to result in remission of symptoms than CBT. The results from comparison studies are inconsistent, with modest evidence that combining antidepressant medication and psychotherapy produces greater improvement in bulimic symptoms. Limited research has been conducted on the treatment of anorexia nervosa, although preliminary studies suggest that psychotherapy and fluoxetine may be helpful in preventing relapse after weight restoration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-697
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Volume55
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999

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