Review of Randomized Controlled Trials Using e-Health Interventions for Patients With Eating Disorders

Faculty/Professorship: Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy  
Author(s): Ahmadiankalati, Mojtaba; Steins-Löber, Sabine  ; Paslakis, Georgios
Title of the Journal: Frontiers in psychiatry
ISSN: 1664-0640,
Publisher Information: Lausanne : Frontiers Research Foundation
Year of publication: 2020
Volume: 11
Issue: 568
Pages: 1-12
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00568
Background: In a world of technological advancements, electronic devices and services seem to be a promising way to increase patients’ engagement in treatment and to help manage their symptoms. Here, we identified and analyzed the current evidence of RCTs to evaluate the effectiveness and acceptability of e-health interventions in the eating disorder (ED) field.
Methods: We screened an initial cluster of 581 papers. In the end, 12 RCTs in clinical ED cohorts were included.
Results: Some studies were conceived as stand-alone interventions, while others were presented as add-ons to ED-specific treatments. Studies varied in the type of EDs under investigation and in the e-health intervention applied (with vs. without therapist support vs. blended interventions; smartphone- vs. web-based). Only four studies reported explicit acceptability measures. Out of those, two reported high acceptability, one reported low acceptability, and one reported no significant difference in acceptability between groups. Four studies reported higher effectiveness of the e-health intervention compared to the control condition, e.g., reduction in maladaptive eating behaviors. Regarding control groups, three used a wait list design and nine had another kind of intervention (e.g., face-to-face CBT, or treatment as usual) as control.
Discussion: So far, the evidence for acceptability and effectiveness of e-health interventions in EDs is very limited. There is also a lack of studies in older patients, adolescents, men, sexual and ethnic minorities. Shame/stigma is discussed in the context of e-health interventions for EDs. It remains unclear how severity of EDs affects the effectiveness of e-health interventions, how patients can channel the knowledge they acquire from e-health interventions into their actual behaviors, and how such
GND Keywords: Gesundheitstelematik; Essstörung; Metaanalyse
Keywords: eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, telehealth, e-health, randomized controlled trial (RCT), treatment
RVK Classification: CU 3400   
Type: Article
Release Date: 27. May 2022