Overcoming Bulimia Online Qualitative Study

Project: Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Bulimic Type Disorders, Delivered in the Community by a Non-clinician: Qualitative Study.

Target group: Participants with bulimic type disorders took part in a randomised controlled trial of an online guided self-help package for their eating problems.  Following the trial, eight participants were interviewed. All participants were women, the mean age of the sample was 33.9 years (range = 28-50 yrs); and the duration of their eating disorders ranged from 2 years to 30 years (mean = 16.6; SD = 8.6).

Setting: UK based online recruitment, delivery and evaluation.

Intervention: Overcoming bulimia online (OBO) 8 session package with weekly telephone, email or text support from a trained support worker.

Outcomes: Participants stated that Overcoming Bulimia Online represented a desirable and impactful treatment option.

The convenient and quickly accessible nature of the package was also outlined as an advantage:

“…it was good because it was convenient so you could fit it into, you know, the rest of your life”.

Planning and goal setting were identified as important:

“…you’ve got to just try and be determined haven’t you, set yourself the goals to do it…. mmm you know work towards achieving those goals”

Many participants said that they had noticed improvements in their bulimic symptoms:

“I’m nearly recovered now …I think it was sometime in June that I last made myself sick and even that was a one off”.

What else?

Support: Knowing that there was someone there who knew that they were using the package and asking how things were going helped some individuals to maintain their motivation:

“…you’ve still got that person in the background who’s wanting you know, wanting to know what’s happening, so that’s motivation”.


McClay, C.-A., Waters, L., McHale, C., Schmidt, U., and Williams, C. (2013) Online cognitive behavioral therapy for bulimic type disorders, delivered in the community by a nonclinician: qualitative study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15 (3). e46. ISSN 1439-4456 (doi:10.2196/jmir.2083)


Pin It on Pinterest