Evaluation of a psychoeducational programme teaching emotional discrimination and management to treat binge eating disorder.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Much current research indicates that there is a strong emotional component in the etiology and maintenance of binge eating disorder. In particular, the affect regulation model argues that binge eating is a way of coping with emotional distress. Unfortunately, the majority of current treatments for binge. eating disorder fail to address the link between binge eating and aversive negative affect. One exception is dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), a treatment recently adapted to treat binge eating disorder, but one that may require up to ten months of treatment. A psychoeducational programme modelled on the affect regulation paradigm, employing techniques similar to those used in DBT to improve emotional intelligence, was given to 11 participants. A multiple baseline design was used across participants in groups. The first group, consisting of five women, was followed two weeks later by a second group, consisting of four women. The last group, consisting of two women, started four weeks after the first and two weeks after the second. The programme included sessions on emotional discrimination and management, relaxation techniques, problem solving skills, and assertion training. Ten weekly sessions, each of up to two hours duration, were provided. Data was obtained from a range of selfreport questionnaires, self-monitoring, and from an ATSS procedure. The results showed that the programme was effective in reducing binge eating and related symptomatology. Improvements were found on several measures, particularly the Binge Eating Scale (BES), and the Questionnaire on Eating and Weight Patterns (QEWP). Although emotional intelligence did not increase to a statistically significant level, the means from pre to post-intervention indicated their emotional intelligence improved considerably, and their alexithymia scores decreased significantly. Implications and limitations of the study are considered, and suggestions are made for future research.