Journal article Open Access

The Association Between Patient Characteristics and the Therapeutic Alliance in Cognitive-Behavioral and Interpersonal Therapy for Bulimia Nervosa.

Constantino, Michael J.; Arnow, Bruce A.; Blasey, Christine; Agras, W. Stewart

The therapeutic alliance is an established predictor of psychotherapy outcome. However, alliance research in the treatment of eating disorders has been scant, with even less attention paid to correlates of alliance development. The goal of this study was to examine the relation between specific patient characteristics and the development of the alliance in 2 different treatments for bulimia nervosa (BN). Data derive from a large, randomized clinical trial comparing cognitive- behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT) for BN. Across both treatments, patient expectation of improvement was positively associated with early- and middle-treatment alliance quality. In CBT, baseline symptom severity was negatively related to middle alliance. In IPT, more baseline interpersonal problems were associated with poorer alliance quality at midtreatment. ---- Preparation of this article was supported in part by National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award 5 T32 MH19938–10 awarded to Michael J. Constantino.

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