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A qualitative study exploring individuals' experiences of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for bulimia nervosa

Name of author: Anne-Mairead Folan

Affiliation: The University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol

Email address:

Who can take part?

All adults aged 18 years and above, who have been in remission for 18 months or more after CBT treatment for bulimia nervosa, will be eligible for inclusion. Adults who have relapsed since their CBT treatment will also be eligible to understand the factors that may have contributed to their relapse. Recruitment will be aimed at adults living in the UK only.

What is the purpose of the research?

The overall aim of this project is to gain an in-depth understanding of peoples’ experiences of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to treat bulimia nervosa. Specifically, this research will explore a) men and women’s experiences of CBT for BN, b) factors associated with recovery or relapse and c) support needs following the end of therapy.

What does the study involve?

Semi-structured qualitative interviews will be conducted by the researcher. Participants will be given the choice to participate online using a video conferencing system such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, or to partake in the interviews in person.

Participants will be asked to complete a number of demographic questions (for example, age, gender, ethnicity) and questions relating to their eating disorder and treatment (for example, time since recovery) prior to taking part in an interview.

Participants will be asked questions on:

  1. Their experience of CBT (e.g., relationship with their therapist)
  2. Their expectations of treatment and if these were met
  3. Factors outside of treatment (e.g., work and relationships) and the impact of these on treatment progression and their eating disorder
  4. The end of therapy and whether follow-up sessions were offered and what support is required

The interview will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

How can someone take part?

If an individual is interested in participating, they are asked to contact the lead researcher at:

Alternatively visit: to read the information sheet, and if interested and eligible, complete a consent form, demographics questionnaire, and fill in your email address for the researcher to contact.