Question: In adults with eating disorders (excluding binge eating disorder) how effective is group cognitive behavioural therapy (GCBT) when compared to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in reducing eating disordered behaviours and preoccupation with eating, weight and shape?


No definite clinical implications can be made from the available evidence. Two randomised controlled trials suggested that group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) should be considered as a valid alternative to individual CBT (after a few individual sessions at the start), or as a first-line treatment in a stepped care approach to treating bulimia nervosa.

It was suggested that more research on group CBT versus individual CBT is needed to substantiate the current evidence. The authors of one trial also suggested that future studies might also want to conduct qualitative interviews to assess reasons for drop-out, and the authors of another trial suggested that further research should address how best to encourage abstinence of binging and vomiting in patients undergoing group CBT.

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