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13-02-2019 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2019

Cognitive Therapy and Research 4/2019

Early Versus Later Improvements in Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Use and Treatment Outcome in Eating Disorders

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 4/2019
Tiffany A. Brown, Anne Cusack, Leslie Anderson, Erin E. Reilly, Laura A. Berner, Christina E. Wierenga, Jason M. Lavender, Walter H. Kaye
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Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has demonstrated initial efficacy for the treatment of eating disorders (EDs). However, no study has examined potential processes that may contribute to observed improvements in DBT for EDs. The present study sought to investigate changes in DBT skills use throughout treatment as a predictor of symptom change in a DBT-based partial hospital program (PHP) for adults with EDs. Adults [n = 135; M(SD) age = 25.08 (7.88)] with EDs completed self-report measures at treatment admission, one-month post-admission, and discharge from PHP. DBT skills use, as measured by the DBT Ways of Coping Checklist, increased by 12.65% from admission to one-month post-admission and increased by 24.10% from admission to discharge. Early (admission to month 1) and later (month 1 to discharge) improvements in DBT skills use predicted greater improvements in ED, depressive, and emotion dysregulation symptoms from treatment admission to discharge. Notably, early versus later change in skills use was a stronger predictor of outcome. Results are consistent with the theoretical model of DBT and add to a growing literature on DBT for EDs.

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