An evaluation of the cognitive-behavioural theory of bulimia nervosa

Amy Margaret Lampard

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterised by repeated episodes of objective binge eating and the use of compensatory behaviours intended to prevent weight gain following binge eating episodes. BN is most commonly observed in females, and estimates of the lifetime prevalence in this population range from 1.5 to 2.9%. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice for BN, yet only 30 to 50% of patients experience remission of binge eating and purging following CBT. Improved psychological treatments for BN are therefore needed. One way to improve psychological treatments for BN is to refine our understanding of the mechanisms that maintain this disorder. The cognitive-behavioural theory of BN describes the processes involved in the maintenance of this disorder (Fairburn, Cooper, & Cooper, 1986). This theory was recently enhanced to include four additional maintaining mechanisms: mood intolerance, interpersonal problems, perfectionism, and low self esteem (Fairburn, Cooper, & Shafran, 2003). The primary aim of this thesis was to evaluate the original and enhanced cognitive-behavioural models of BN. This was achieved in three stages. First, three preliminary studies investigated the measurement of mood intolerance, interpersonal problems and perfectionism, and their relationship with eating disorder symptoms, in preparation for subsequent model testing. Second, the original and enhanced cognitive-behavioural models were compared in a clinical sample to determine if the enhanced model accounted for a greater proportion of variance in dietary restraint, binge eating, and purging than the original model. Third, the cognitive-behavioural theory of the maintenance of BN was evaluated using repeated measures data in a clinical sample...
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011


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