Cognitive-behavioural therapy for individuals with Bulimia nervosa and a co-occurring substance use disorder

Robyn Sysko, Tom Hildebrandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A significant percentage of individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) also can be diagnosed with a co-occurring substance use disorder (SUD). Although studies have addressed the frequency of overlap between the disorders, etiology and shared personality traits, limited research is available about the treatment of these comorbid patients. Adapting cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) to serve as an integrated treatment for patients with both BN and a SUD is a viable option, as studies of CBT suggest that this form of treatment is efficacious for both disorders independently. The shared strategies in CBT for BN and SUDs facilitate the development of a combined treatment for individuals with both disorders with the addition of modules designed to address some common features of these disorders, such as motivation, difficulty with interpersonal relationships, reward sensitivity and impulsivity. Future research should begin to evaluate the efficacy of an integrated CBT in treating individuals with BN and a SUD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use disorders


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