Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Web Intervention Plus Intense Therapy Shows Promise in Eating Disorders

Dutch researchers are testing an intervention for eating disorders that combines Web-based activities with intensive therapeutic support. Their findings are published in the July Psychiatric Services. In the first part of a trial of 165 patients testing the program, patients analyzed their attitudes and behaviors about eating; part two focused on behavioral change.

Patients in the program receive messages, assignments, exercises, and psychoeducation from their therapists. They complete four assignments and have at least seven contacts in the first part and six assignments and at least 14 contacts in the second part. Contact is usually over the Internet, but patients can request a telephone or in-person session, if desired.

“Results showed that the Web-based intervention successfully changed eating-disorder psychopathology, with most of the improvements sustained at the six-month follow-up,” wrote Elke ter Huurne, M.Sc., of Tactus Addiction Treatment in Enschede, the Netherlands. “Physical and mental health also improved, and patients were much more satisfied with their body image.” A randomized, controlled trial of the approach is underway and will be completed in 2014.

For more information about treatment for eating disorders, see Psychiatric News here.

(Image: Jostein Hauge/


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