Comparison of group and individual cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients with bulimia nervosa

Eunice Chen*, Stephen W. Touyz, Pierre J V Beumont, Christopher G. Fairburn, Rosalyn Griffiths, Phyllis Butow, Janice Russell, David E. Schotte, Robert Gertler, Christopher Basten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The clinical effectiveness of group and individual cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for bulimia nervosa (BN) was compared. Method: Sixty BN patients from hospitals and general practitioners in Sydney, Australia, were allocated randomly to group or individual CBT. Forty-four completed treatment (n = 22 in group CBT and n = 22 in individual CBT). Patients were assessed at pretreatment, posttreatment, and at 3 and 6 months follow-up with the Eating Disorder Examination-12 and self-report questionnaires examining weight and shape attitudes (Eating Disorder Inventory-2), social adjustment (Socail Adjustment Scale-Modified), self-esteem (Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale), and general psychopathology (Symptom Checklist 90R). Results: The effects of group and individual CBT were equivalent on most measures. However, a significantly greater proportion of individual CBT patients than group CBT patients were abstinent from bulimic behaviors at posttreatment, but not at follow-up. Discussion: This has implications for the delivery of cost-effective and clinically effective treatment for BN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-254
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Eating Disorder Examination-12
  • Self-report questionnaires


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