Online cognitive behavioral therapy for bulimic type disorders, delivered in the community by a nonclinician: qualitative study

Mcclay, C.-A., Waters, L., McHale, C., Schmidt, U. and Williams, C. (2013) Online cognitive behavioral therapy for bulimic type disorders, delivered in the community by a nonclinician: qualitative study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15(3), e46. (doi:10.2196/jmir.2083)

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Abstract

Background: Cognitive behavioral therapy is recommended in the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines for the treatment of bulimia nervosa. In order to make this treatment option more accessible to patients, interactive online CBT programs have been developed that can be used in the user’s own home, in privacy, and at their convenience. Studies investigating online CBT for bulimic type eating disorders have provided promising results and indicate that, with regular support from a clinician or trained support worker, online CBT can be effective in reducing bulimic symptoms. Two main factors distinguish this study from previous research in this area. First, the current study recruited a wide range of adults with bulimic type symptoms from the community. Second, the participants in the current study had used cCBT with support from a nonclinical support worker rather than a specialist eating disorder clinician.

Objective: To investigate participants’ experiences of using an online self-help cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) package (Overcoming Bulimia Online) for bulimia nervosa (BN) and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS). Methods: Eight participants with a mean age of 33.9 years took part in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using a 6-step thematic analysis process.

Results: Saturation was achieved, and 7 themes were identified in the dataset. These were: (1) conceptualizing eating disorders, (2) help-seeking behavior, (3) aspects of the intervention, (4) motivation to use the online package, (5) privacy and secrecy with regard to their eating problems, (6) recovery and the future, and (7) participant engagement describing individuals’ thoughts on taking part in the online research study.

Conclusions: Participants suggested that online CBT self-help represented a generally desirable and acceptable treatment option for those with bulimic type eating problems, despite some difficulties with motivation and implementation of some elements of the package.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Williams, Professor Christopher
Authors: Mcclay, C.-A., Waters, L., McHale, C., Schmidt, U., and Williams, C.
Subjects:R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Journal of Medical Internet Research
Publisher:JMIR Publications Inc
ISSN:1439-4456
ISSN (Online):1438-8871
Published Online:15 March 2013
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Medical Internet Research 15(3):e46
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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