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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Weight suppression in bulimia nervosa: relationship with cognitive behavioral therapy outcome

  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
  • 2Email author
Journal of Eating Disorders20131 (Suppl 1) :O10

  • Published:


  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Treatment Completion
  • Poor Treatment
  • Parent History

Weight suppression has been found to negatively predict treatment completion of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). However, subsequent attempts to replicate these findings have failed. In light of this, the current study revisits the relationship between weight suppression and treatment outcomes in bulimia nervosa. We propose that moderator effects may assist in interpreting previous inconsistency. Moderators tested were parent history of overweight, chubby/overweight childhood body shape, higher pre-treatment body mass index, and highest ever adult weight discrepancy. Participants were 117 female outpatients aged 16-54 years with bulimic disorders treated with enhanced cognitive behavioural therapy at a specialist community clinic. Logistic regression indicated that pre-treatment weight suppression did not predict drop-out or poor treatment outcome. No moderator effects were observed when hypothesised moderator features were included in treatment completion or treatment outcome models. The current study calls into question the association between weight suppression and treatment outcome. Future research into moderator models, using a larger sample, could assist us to refine conceptualizations of why some patients who have a weight suppression history are vulnerable to poor treatment adherence and outcome and to establish clinical interventions that enhance prognosis.

This abstract was presented in the Adult Treatment and Services stream of the 2013 ANZAED Conference.

Authors’ Affiliations

School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University, Australia
Centre for Clinical Interventions, Department of Health in Western Australia, Australia


© Dawkins et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.