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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Eating disorders therapy hope

15th December 2008

Researchers from the University of Oxford have said that "more" people who suffer from eating disorders could be helped by specialist therapies.


They said a type of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could achieve "complete and lasting improvement" in "four out of five cases".

The study - which involved 154 people and was headed by Professor Christopher Fairburn - appeared in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Figures have suggested that over one million people in the UK have some type of eating disorder.

Around 40% of people who suffer from an eating disorder are bulimic, 20% are anorexic and the rest have "atypical disorders".

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) currently recommends CBT to treat bulimic patients.

Professor Christopher Fairburn has stated that specially developed CBT could assist in the treatment of many more patients.

His research looked at bulimic and "atypical" patients, but not anorexic patients.

The CBT involved sessions with a counsellor which were carried out once a week for five months.

The researchers found that two-thirds of the patients achieved a "complete and lasting" improvement.

Professor Fairburn said: "Now, for the first time, we have a single treatment which can be effective at treating the majority of cases, without the need for patients to be admitted into hospital."


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