A Web-based Treatment Program with Intensive Therapeutic Support

A 12-month program is recruiting patients.

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
January/February Volume 25, Number 1
©2014 iaedp

As a novel idea for putting the power of the Internet into action for patients with BN, BED, and EDNOS, Dr. Elke D ter Huurne and a team in the Netherlands have designed a randomized controlled trial to compare the outcome of an experimental treatment group with a waiting list control group (BMC Psychiatry 2013; 13:310). Those in the web-based treatment program will communicate personally and asynchronously with their therapists exclusively by the Internet. The first part of the intervention will analyze eating attitudes and behaviors; in the second part, participants will learn how to change their attitudes and behaviors. Participants in the control group will receive no-reply email messages once every 2 weeks during the waiting period of 15 weeks, after which they can start the treatment program.

The primary goal of the study is to evaluate whether a web-based treatment program with intensive therapeutic support can improve eating disorder psychopathology among female patients with BN, BED, and EDNOS. The secondary aim is to explore whether the treatment program can also improve body image, physical health, body weight, mental health, self-esteem, quality of life and social contacts. All participants will receive a follow-up questionnaire (Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire) 3, 6, and 12 months after completing the program. As a reward for completing the extensive questionnaires, each participant will receive a digital coupon to an online store for each completed research questionnaire.

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