A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Group Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Compulsive Buying Disorder: Posttreatment and 6-Month Follow-Up Results
J Clin Psychiatry 2008;69(7):1131-1138
© Copyright 2015 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Objective: The purpose of this study was to
conduct a randomized trial comparing the efficacy of
a group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
intervention designed for the treatment of compulsive
buying disorder to a waiting list control (WLC) group.
Method: Thirty-one patients with
compulsive buying problems according to the criteria
developed by McElroy et al. were assigned to receive
active treatment (12 weekly sessions and 6-month
follow-up) and 29 to the WLC group. The treatment
was specifically aimed at interrupting and controlling
the problematic buying behavior, establishing
healthy purchasing patterns, restructuring
maladaptive thoughts and negative feelings associated with
shopping and buying, and developing healthy coping skills. Primary outcome measures were the
Compulsive Buying Scale (CBS), the Yale-Brown
Obsessive Compulsive Scale-Shopping Version
(YBOCS-SV), and the German Compulsive Buying Scale
(G-CBS). Secondary outcome measures were the
(SCL-90-R), the Barratt
Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), and the Saving
Inventory-Revised (SI-R). The study was completed between November 2003 and May 2007 at the
University Hospital of Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany.
Results: Multivariate analysis revealed
significant differences between the CBT and the
WLC groups on the primary outcome variables
(outcome-by-time-by-group effect, Pillai's trace,
F=6.960, df=1, p=.002). The improvement was
maintained during the 6-month follow-up. The treatment did
not affect other psychopathology, e.g., compulsive hoarding, impulsivity, or SCL-90-R scores. We
found that lower numbers of visited group therapy
sessions and higher pretreatment hoarding traits as
measured with the SI-R total score were significant
predictors for nonresponse.
Conclusion: The results suggest that a
disorder-specific cognitive-behavioral intervention can
significantly impact compulsive buying behavior.
Trial Registration: isrctn.org