Therapeutic programs for binge eating disorder (BED) often include the mediation of problem-solving skills to deal with the desire to binge. In women with BED, problem-solving abilities have not been studied yet. Knowing that reasons for binge episodes are often linked to interpersonal topics, we expected women with BED to have poorer problem-solving abilities than healthy controls (HC).
Twenty-five women with BED and 30 overweight HC were given a shortened version of the Means-Ends Problem-Solving Procedure (MEPS). Dependent variables were the number of relevant means, the effectiveness and the specificity of the generated solution.
Generated solutions in the group of women with BED were significantly less effective and less specific compared to HC. Moreover, reduced effectiveness of interpersonal problem-solving was related to increased binge frequency.
The results support the importance of teaching problem-solving ability in individuals with BED to promote behaviour change. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.