VR-based cue-exposure therapy (VR-CET) versus VR-CET plus pharmacotherapy in the treatment of bulimic-type eating disorders

Joana Pla-Sanjuanelo, Marta Ferrer-Garcia, Ferran Vilalta-Abella, Giuseppe Riva, Antonios Dakanalis, Joan Ribas-Sabaté, Alexis Andreu-Gracia, Fernando Fernandez-Aranda, Isabel Sánchez, Neli Escandón-Nagel, Osane Gomez-Tricio, Virgínia Tena, José Gutierrez-Maldonado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Treatment guidelines recommend antidepressant medication for bulimic-type eating disorders either as an alternative to or in combination with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This study compared the efficacy of two second-line treatments of patients with bulimic-type eating disorders resistant to CBT: virtual reality-based cue-exposure therapy (VR-CET) alone or VR-CET in combination with pharmacotherapy. Results showed that bingeing episodes, bulimic symptomatology (the bulimia EDI-3 score) and food cravings (FCQ-T/S) were significantly reduced after both interventions. However, no significant differences were found between the combined intervention and VR-CET alone. Improvements from the treatments continued at the 6-month follow-up. Our results support the use of VR-CET as an effective treatment of bulimic-type eating disorders, reducing bulimic symptoms and food cravings. The addition of antidepressants to VR-CET does not provide any additional benefit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-122
Number of pages7
JournalAnnual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Binge eating
  • Bulimic-type disorders
  • Clinical sample
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Cue-exposure therapy
  • Food cravings
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Virtual reality


Dive into the research topics of 'VR-based cue-exposure therapy (VR-CET) versus VR-CET plus pharmacotherapy in the treatment of bulimic-type eating disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this