Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Objective: Eating disorders (EDs) are serious problems among college-age women and may be preventable. An indicated online eating disorder (ED) intervention, designed to reduce ED and comorbid pathology, was evaluated. Method: 206 women (M age = 20 +/- 1.8 years; 51% White/Caucasian, 11% African American, 10% Hispanic, 21% Asian/Asian American, 7% other) at very high risk for ED onset (i.e., with high weight/shape concerns plus a history of being teased, current or lifetime depression, and/or nonclinical levels of compensatory behaviors) were randomized to a 10-week, Internet-based, cognitive-behavioral intervention or waitlist control. Assessments included the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE, to assess ED onset), EDE-Questionnaire, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders, and Beck Depression Inventory-II. Results: ED attitudes and behaviors improved more in the intervention than control group (p = .02, d = 0.31); although ED onset rate was 27% lower, this difference was not significant (p = .28, NNT = 15). In the subgroup with highest shape concerns, ED onset rate was significantly lower in the intervention than control group (20% vs. 42%, p = .025, NNT = 5). For the 27 individuals with depression at baseline, depressive symptomatology improved more in the intervention than control group (p = .016, d = 0.96); although ED onset rate was lower in the intervention than control group, this difference was not significant (25% vs. 57%, NNT = 4). Conclusions: An inexpensive, easily disseminated intervention might reduce ED onset among those at highest risk. Low adoption rates need to be addressed in future research.
Taylor, C. B., Kass, A. E., Trockel, M., Cunning, D., Weisman, H., Bailey, J., ... & Wilfley, D. E. (2016). Reducing eating disorder onset in a very high risk sample with significant comorbid depression: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 84(5), 402.