This study aims to evaluate the long-term outcome of new technology assisted guided self-help in adolescents with bulimia nervosa (BN).
One hundred and twenty-six patients with BN (29 adolescents and 97 adults) were randomly allocated to a cognitive behavioural therapy-based self-help program delivered by the Internet or bibliotherapy, both accompanied by e-mail guidance. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, month 4, 7 and 18 including remission rates and eating disorder associated psychopathology.
In all, 44 % of adolescents vs. 38.7 % of adults were in remission at month 7, and 55 % of adolescents vs. 62.5 % of adults were in remission at follow-up. Objective binge eating and compensatory behaviour improved significantly over time in both groups, with the highest decrease during the first 4 months. A significant decrease over time and no group differences have been found in almost all EDI-2 subscales.
E-mail guided self-help (delivered via the Internet or bibliotherapy) is equally effective for adolescents as for adults with BN, and can be recommended as an initial step of treatment for this younger age group.