Reevaluating cue exposure and response prevention in a pilot study: an updated treatment for binge eating disorder

Melissa M. Norberg*, Charlotte M. Handford, Natasha R. Magson, Christopher Basten

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    15 Downloads (Pure)


    Approximately half of individuals with binge eating disorder (BED) fail to improve when treated with cognitive behavioral therapy; thus, better treatments are needed. Cue exposure and response prevention (CERP) may be one option, but its full potential for reducing binge eating remains unknown because prior applications for binge eating have not utilized the broad range of strategies believed to optimize exposure therapy. The current single-subject AB design investigated the acceptability and effectiveness of a comprehensive CERP treatment among 8 women who met DSM-5 criteria for binge eating disorder. Changes in the number of binges were measured from baseline to the end of treatment, and desire to eat, salivation, and idiographic expectancies of aversive outcomes to food-cue exposure (idiographic CS-US expectancies), including expectancies about ability to tolerate distress when exposed to food cues were measured across the course of treatment. Statistical analysis revealed a significant reduction in the number of binges from baseline to the end of treatment. Across the course of treatment, desire to eat and idiographic CS-US expectancies reduced, and distress tolerance expectancies increased. No participants dropped out and all reported being maximally satisfied with the treatment. Based on these findings, future randomized-control trials with larger samples should examine the efficacy of CERP and mechanisms underlying change with the aim of establishing a more effective treatment for binge eating disorder.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-207
    Number of pages13
    JournalBehavior Therapy
    Issue number1
    Early online date19 Apr 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


    • food
    • food addiction
    • obesity
    • exposure therapy
    • cognitive behavioral therapy


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