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OBJECTIVE: There is a need to improve treatment for individuals with bulimic disorders. It was hypothesised that a focus in treatment on broader emotional and social/interpersonal issues underlying eating disorders would increase treatment efficacy. This study tested a novel treatment based on the above hypothesis, an Emotional and Social Mind Training Group (ESM), against a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Group (CBT) treatment. METHOD: 74 participants were randomised to either ESM or CBT Group treatment programmes. All participants were offered 13 group and 4 individual sessions. The primary outcome measure was the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) Global score. Assessments were carried out at baseline, end of treatment (four months) and follow-up (six months). RESULTS: There were no differences in outcome between the two treatments. No moderators of treatment outcome were identified. Adherence rates were higher for participants in the ESM group. DISCUSSION: This suggests that ESM may be a viable alternative to CBT for some individuals. Further research will be required to identify and preferentially allocate suitable individuals accordingly. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN61115988.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Adult, Bulimia Nervosa, Cognitive Therapy, Emotions, Female, Humans, Male, Treatment Outcome