Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which appears to be an effective treatment for binge eating disorder
Change in Emotion Regulation during the Course of Treatment Predicts Binge Abstinence in Guided Self-help Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Binge Eating Disorder
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which appears to be an effective treatment for binge eating disorder (BED), focuses on teaching emotion regulation skills. However, the role of improved emotion regulation in predicting treatment outcome in BED is uncertain.
Methods: This secondary analysis explored whether change in self-reported emotion regulation (as measured by the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale) during treatment was associated with abstinence from binge eating at post-treatment and 4-, 5-, and 6-month follow-up in individuals who received a guided self-help adaptation of DBT for BED.
Participants were 60 community-based men and women with BED who received a self-help manual and six 20-minute support phone calls.
Results: Greater improvement in self-reported emotion regulation between pre- and post-treatment predicted abstinence from binge eating at post-treatment, 4-, 5-, and 6-month follow-up. However, some follow-up results were no longer significant when imputed data was excluded, suggesting that the effect of emotion regulation on binge abstinence may be strongest at 4-month follow-up but decline across a longer duration of follow-up.
Conclusions: This study provides preliminary support for the theoretical role played by improved emotion regulation in achieving binge eating abstinence.
If this finding is replicated with larger samples, further research should identify specific techniques to help more individuals to effectively regulate their emotions over a longer duration.