Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Psychology

Journal Title

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

Pub Date

2016

Volume

84

Issue

5

First Page

402

Abstract

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.

DOI

10.1037/ccp0000077

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