Reactivity and compliance in daily symptom assessments of college women with symptoms of Comorbid Depression and Bulimia Nervosa

Date

2016-08

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Abstract

Although daily symptom assessment is a common component of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression and eating disorders, little attention has been given to reactivity that participants experience because of these daily assessments. It may be advantageous for therapeutic purposes to know about the extent and directionality of any reactivity that occurs due to tracking symptoms (e.g., a reduction in depressive symptoms may occur after repeated administration of depression measures). Additionally, increasing compliance will likely better inform clinicians about their clients’ symptomatology. The aims of this research were to study reactivity of daily symptom assessment of depression and bulimia nervosa and to determine if compliance training increases the completion rate of these assessments in college women with symptoms of depression and bulimia nervosa. Participants (N = 135) were college women with at least mild bulimia nervosa symptoms, as measured by the EAT-26. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: completion of daily symptom assessments and viewing of a compliance training video, completion of daily symptom assessments only, or completion of no daily assessments. Data were analyzed using ANOVAs or t-tests. Contrary to expectations, all participants showed significant reductions in EAT-26 scores, yet did not show significant reductions in CES-D scores. As expected, participants who received compliance training completed, on average, a significantly higher number of daily symptom assessments. The theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are also discussed.

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Keywords

Reactivity, Self-monitoring

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