A transdiagnostic comparison of enhanced cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT-E) and interpersonal psychotherapy in the treatment of eating disorders

Behav Res Ther. 2015 Apr 22;70:64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2015.04.010. [Epub ahead of print]

Fairburn CG1, Bailey-Straebler S2, Basden S2, Doll HA3, Jones R4, Murphy R2, O’Connor ME2, Cooper Z
1Oxford University, Department of Psychiatry, UK. Electronic address: credo@medsci.ox.ac.uk.
2Oxford University, Department of Psychiatry, UK.
3Department of Population Health and Primary Care, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, UK.
4London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.
Eating disorders may be viewed from a transdiagnostic perspective and there is evidence supporting a transdiagnostic form of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT-E). The aim of the present study was to compare CBT-E with interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), a leading alternative treatment for adults with an eating disorder. One hundred and thirty patients with any form of eating disorder (body mass index >17.5 to <40.0) were randomized to either CBT-E or IPT. Both treatments involved 20 sessions over 20 weeks followed by a 60-week closed follow-up period. Outcome was measured by independent blinded assessors. Twenty-nine participants (22.3%) did not complete treatment or were withdrawn. At post-treatment 65.5% of the CBT-E participants met criteria for remission compared with 33.3% of the IPT participants (p < 0.001). Over follow-up the proportion of participants meeting criteria for remission increased, particularly in the IPT condition, but the CBT-E remission rate remained higher (CBT-E 69.4%, IPT 49.0%; p = 0.028). The response to CBT-E was very similar to that observed in an earlier study. The findings indicate that CBT-E is potent treatment for the majority of outpatients with an eating disorder. IPT remains an alternative to CBT-E, but the response is less pronounced and slower to be expressed.
ISRCTN 15562271.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.