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Rates of abstinence following psychological or behavioral treatments for binge-eating disorder: meta-analysis

journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2018, 00:00 authored by Jake LinardonJake Linardon
OBJECTIVE: Standardized effect sizes reported in previous meta-analyses of binge-eating disorder (BED) treatment are sometimes difficult to interpret and are criticized for not being a useful indicator of the clinical importance of a treatment. Abstinence from binge eating is a clinically relevant component of a definition of a successful treatment outcome. This meta-analysis estimated the prevalence of patients with BED who achieved binge eating abstinence following psychological or behavioral treatments. METHOD: This meta-analysis included 39 randomized controlled trials, with 65 treatment conditions and 2,349 patients. Most conditions comprised cognitive-behavioral therapy (n = 40). Pooled event rates were calculated at posttreatment and follow-up using random effects models. RESULTS: The total weighted percentage of treatment-completers who achieved abstinence at posttreatment was 50.9% (95% CI = 43.9, 57.8); this estimate was almost identical at follow-up (50.3%; 95% CI = 43.6, 56.9). The total weighted percentage of patients who achieved abstinence at posttreatment in the intention-to-treat analysis (all randomized patients) was 45.1% (95% CI =40.7, 49.5), and at follow-up it was 42.3% (95% CI =37.5, 47.2). Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) produced the highest abstinence rates. Clinician-led group treatments produced significantly higher posttreatment (but not follow-up) abstinence estimates than guided self-help treatments. Neither timeframe for achieving abstinence, assessment type (interview/questionnaire), number of treatment sessions, patient demographics, nor trial quality, moderated the abstinence estimates. DISCUSSION: The present findings demonstrate that 50% of patients with BED do not fully respond to treatment. Continued efforts toward improving eating disorder treatments are needed.



International journal of eating disorders






785 - 797




Chichester, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2018, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.