Publications by authors named "Corinna Jacobi"

63 Publications

Stakeholder consultation to facilitate implementation of interventions for prevention and promotion in mental health in Europe: introducing the design of the ICare Stakeholder Survey.

Eur J Public Health 2021 07;31(31 Suppl 1):i48-i54

Institut für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Background: Online interventions to prevent mental health problems have proven to be effective. However, knowledge about their implementation in real-world practice as well as for dissemination to the target groups in different settings is scarce. The goal of the 'ICare' network is to establish a comprehensive model of eMental-health service delivery in and across different European countries. Since implementation and dissemination are influenced by many contextual factors, in the first phase of ICare a stakeholder survey was conducted. The survey aim was to explore stakeholders' experiences, needs and attitudes regarding Internet-based prevention of mental health problems and hindering and fostering factors for implementation and dissemination. This article is part of a supplement and describes the design of the stakeholder survey. Survey results are published in separate articles in the same supplement.

Methods: Based on a literature review and the individual characteristics of the ICare interventions, stakeholder groups were identified in different settings across six European countries. The RE-AIM framework guided the development of the research questions and survey instruments. A concurrent mixed methods design was applied comprising focus groups with the intended target groups of ICare interventions, an online questionnaire with potential facilitators/delivery staff and semi-structured interviews with policy makers.

Conclusion: The challenge was to develop a design that allowed flexibility but at the same did not jeopardize the validity of the study. Implications drawn from this survey are not restricted to specific preventive interventions but will provide general information on how online mental illness prevention can be best implemented in various settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8266536PMC
July 2021

Stakeholders' views on online interventions to prevent common mental health disorders in adults implemented into existing healthcare systems in Europe.

Eur J Public Health 2021 07;31(31 Suppl 1):i55-i63

Ferdinand Porsche FernFH-Distance Learning University of Applied Sciences, Wiener Neustadt 2700, Austria.

Background: Online preventive interventions can help to reduce the incidence of mental disorders. Whereas knowledge on stakeholders' attitudes and factors relevant for successfully integrating online treatment into existing healthcare systems is available, knowledge is scarce for online prevention.

Methods: Stakeholders from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Spain were surveyed. Potential facilitators/delivery staff (e.g. psychologists, psychotherapists) completed an online questionnaire (n = 183), policy makers (i.e. from the governing sector or health insurance providers) participated in semi-structured interviews (n = 16) and target groups/potential users of mental illness prevention (n = 49) participated in ten focus groups. Thematic analysis was used to identify their experiences with and attitudes and needs regarding online programmes to prevent mental disorders. Additionally, it was examined which groups they consider underserved and which factors they consider as fostering and hindering for reach, adoption, implementation and maintenance (cf. RE-AIM model) when integrating online prevention into existing healthcare systems.

Results: Main advantages of online mental illness prevention are perceived in low structural and psychological barriers. Lack of personal contact, security, privacy and trust concerns were discussed as disadvantages. Relevant needs are high usability and target group appropriateness, evidence for effectiveness and the use of motivational tools.

Conclusions: Positive attitudes among stakeholders are the key for successful integration of online mental illness prevention into existing healthcare systems. Potential facilitators/delivery staff must receive training and support to implement these programmes; the programmes must be attractive and continuously evaluated, updated and promoted to ensure ongoing reach; and existing infrastructure and contextual factors must be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab043DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8495679PMC
July 2021

A systematic review of reach, adoption, implementation and maintenance of Internet-based interventions to prevent eating disorders in adults.

Eur J Public Health 2021 07;31(31 Suppl 1):i29-i37

Ferdinand Porsche FernFH-Distance Learning University of Applied Sciences, Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

Background: There is a growing body of research and evidence for the efficacy of Internet-based eating disorder (ED) prevention interventions for adults. However, much less is known about the reach, adoption, implementation and maintenance of these interventions. The RE-AIM (reach, efficacy/effectiveness, adoption, implementation, maintenance) model provides a framework to systematically assess this information.

Methods: A literature search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science and PsycINFO for articles published between 2000 and 2019. Additionally, reference lists of the studies included and existing reviews published until the end of 2020 were searched. Sixty original articles describing 54 individual studies fulfilled inclusion criteria. Data were extracted for a total of 43 RE-AIM indicators for each study. Fostering and hindering factors for reach, adoption, implementation and maintenance were assessed qualitatively.

Results: Overall reporting rates were best for the RE-AIM dimensions reach (62.6%), implementation (57.0%) and effectiveness (54.2%), while adoption (24.2%) and maintenance (21.5%) had comparatively low overall reporting rates. Reporting on indicators of internal validity, such as sample size, effects or description of interventions was better than indicators relevant for dissemination and implementation in real-world settings, e.g. characteristics of non-participants, characteristics and representativeness of settings, and data to estimate cost.

Conclusions: Because most Internet-based ED prevention interventions are provided in a research-funded context, little is known about their public health impact. Better reporting of factors determining external validity is needed to inform dissemination and implementation of these interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8266539PMC
July 2021

Stakeholders' perspectives on online interventions to improve mental health in eating disorder patients and carers in Germany.

Eur J Public Health 2021 07;31(31 Suppl 1):i80-i87

Ferdinand Porsche FernFH-Distance Learning University of Applied Sciences, Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

Background: Eating disorders are causing severe consequences for those affected as well as a high burden for their carers. Although there is a substantial need for psychological assistance, different factors are hindering access to support. Internet-based interventions can help to overcome these barriers. To date, there is only little knowledge on attitudes of potential users, facilitators (e.g. psychologists) and decision makers (e.g. health insurances) regarding these interventions.

Methods: We conducted focus groups with potential users (N = 30) and semi-structured interviews with potential decision makers (N = 4). Potential facilitators (N = 41) participated in an online survey. Stakeholders' experiences, attitudes, and their needs regarding Internet-based interventions for eating disorder patients and carers were assessed. Furthermore, hindering and fostering factors related to reach, adoption, implementation and maintenance were analyzed.

Results: About two-thirds of the participating facilitators have heard or read about Internet-based interventions in general. In contrast, the other stakeholders mentioned to have no or little experience with such interventions. Factors like anonymity, availability and cost-effectiveness were seen as major advantages. Also disadvantages, e.g. lack of personal contact, limitations by disease severity and concerns on data safety, were mentioned. Stakeholders stated the need for interventions which are usable, evidence-based, tailored and provide personal support.

Conclusion: Stakeholders considered Internet-based programmes to have more advantages than disadvantages. Effort should be put in providing systematic education to address prejudices. When offering an online intervention, stakeholders' needs, as well as a continuous evaluation and adaptation, have to be taken into account.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8266537PMC
July 2021

Online prevention programmes for university students: stakeholder perspectives from six European countries.

Eur J Public Health 2021 07;31(31 Suppl 1):i64-i70

King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, London, UK.

Background: Students beginning university are at a heightened risk for developing mental health disorders. Online prevention and early intervention programmes targeting mental health have the potential to reduce this risk, however, previous research has shown uptake to be rather poor. Understanding university stakeholders' (e.g. governing level and delivery staff [DS] and students) views and attitudes towards such online prevention programmes could help with their development, implementation and dissemination within university settings.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews, focus groups and online surveys were completed with staff at a governing level, university students and DS (i.e. student health or teaching staff) from six European countries. They were asked about their experiences with, and needs and attitudes towards, online prevention programmes, as well as the factors that influence the translation of these programmes into real-world settings. Results were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: Participating stakeholders knew little about online prevention programmes for university settings; however, they viewed them as acceptable. The main themes to emerge were the basic conditions and content of the programmes, the awareness and engagement, the resources needed, the usability and the responsibility and ongoing efforts to increase reach.

Conclusions: Overall, although these stakeholders had little knowledge about online prevention programmes, they were open to the idea of introducing them. They could see the potential benefits that these programmes might bring to a university setting as a whole and the individual students and staff members.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8495721PMC
July 2021

Effectiveness of a Digital Cognitive Behavior Therapy-Guided Self-Help Intervention for Eating Disorders in College Women: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 08 3;3(8):e2015633. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri.

Importance: Eating disorders (EDs) are common, serious psychiatric disorders on college campuses, yet most affected individuals do not receive treatment. Digital interventions have the potential to bridge this gap.

Objective: To determine whether a coached, digital, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) intervention improves outcomes for college women with EDs compared with referral to usual care.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cluster randomized trial was conducted from 2014 to 2018 at 27 US universities. Women with binge-purge EDs (with both threshold and subthreshold presentations) were recruited from enrolled universities. The 690 participants were followed up for up to 2 years after the intervention. Data analysis was performed from February to September 2019.

Interventions: Universities were randomized to the intervention, Student Bodies-Eating Disorders, a digital CBT-guided self-help program, or to referral to usual care.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The main outcome was change in overall ED psychopathology. Secondary outcomes were abstinence from binge eating and compensatory behaviors, as well as ED behavior frequencies, depression, anxiety, clinical impairment, academic impairment, and realized treatment access.

Results: A total of 690 women with EDs (mean [SD] age, 22.12 [4.85] years; 414 [60.0%] White; 120 [17.4%] Hispanic; 512 [74.2%] undergraduates) were included in the analyses. For ED psychopathology, there was a significantly greater reduction in the intervention group compared with the control group at the postintervention assessment (β [SE], -0.44 [0.10]; d = -0.40; t1387 = -4.23; P < .001), as well as over the follow-up period (β [SE], -0.39 [0.12]; d = -0.35; t1387 = -3.30; P < .001). There was not a significant difference in abstinence from any ED behaviors at the postintervention assessment (odds ratio, 1.48; 95% CI, 0.48-4.62; P = .50) or at follow-up (odds ratio, 1.51; 95% CI, 0.63-3.58; P = .36). Compared with the control group, the intervention group had significantly greater reductions in binge eating (rate ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70-0.96; P = .02), compensatory behaviors (rate ratio, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.54-0.86; P < .001), depression (β [SE], -1.34 [0.53]; d = -0.22; t1387 = -2.52; P = .01), and clinical impairment (β [SE], -2.33 [0.94]; d = -0.21; t1387 = -2.49; P = .01) at the postintervention assessment, with these gains sustained through follow-up for all outcomes except binge eating. Groups did not differ in terms of academic impairment. The majority of intervention participants (318 of 385 participants [83%]) began the intervention, whereas only 28% of control participants (76 of 271 participants with follow-up data available) sought treatment for their ED (odds ratio, 12.36; 95% CI, 8.73-17.51; P < .001).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cluster randomized clinical trial comparing a coached, digital CBT intervention with referral to usual care, the intervention was effective in reducing ED psychopathology, compensatory behaviors, depression, and clinical impairment through long-term follow-up, as well as realizing treatment access. No difference was found between the intervention and control groups for abstinence for all ED behaviors or academic impairment. Given its scalability, a coached, digital, CBT intervention for college women with EDs has the potential to address the wide treatment gap for these disorders.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02076464.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.15633DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7489868PMC
August 2020

Using Digital Technology to Reduce the Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders in Populations: Time for a New Approach.

J Med Internet Res 2020 07 24;22(7):e17493. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Digital technology, which includes the collection, analysis, and use of data from a variety of digital devices, has the potential to reduce the prevalence of disorders and improve mental health in populations. Among the many advantages of digital technology is that it allows preventive and clinical interventions, both of which are needed to reduce the prevalence of mental health disorders, to be feasibly integrated into health care and community delivery systems and delivered at scale. However, the use of digital technology also presents several challenges, including how systems can manage and implement interventions in a rapidly changing digital environment and handle critical issues that affect population-wide outcomes, including reaching the targeted population, obtaining meaningful levels of uptake and use of interventions, and achieving significant outcomes. We describe a possible solution, which is to have an outcome optimization team that focuses on the dynamic use of data to adapt interventions for populations, while at the same time, addressing the complex relationships among reach, uptake, use, and outcome. We use the example of eating disorders in young people to illustrate how this solution could be implemented at scale. We also discuss system, practitioner-related, and other issues related to the adaptation of such an approach. Digital technology has great potential for facilitating the reduction of mental illness rates in populations. However, achieving this goal will require the implementation of new approaches. As a solution, we argue for the need to create outcome optimization teams, tasked with integrating data from various sources and using advanced data analytics and new designs to develop interventions/strategies to increase reach, uptake, use/engagement, and outcomes for both preventive and treatment interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/17493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7414404PMC
July 2020

A Framework for Applying Natural Language Processing in Digital Health Interventions.

J Med Internet Res 2020 02 19;22(2):e13855. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

Palo Alto University, Center for m2Health, Palo Alto, CA, United States.

Background: Digital health interventions (DHIs) are poised to reduce target symptoms in a scalable, affordable, and empirically supported way. DHIs that involve coaching or clinical support often collect text data from 2 sources: (1) open correspondence between users and the trained practitioners supporting them through a messaging system and (2) text data recorded during the intervention by users, such as diary entries. Natural language processing (NLP) offers methods for analyzing text, augmenting the understanding of intervention effects, and informing therapeutic decision making.

Objective: This study aimed to present a technical framework that supports the automated analysis of both types of text data often present in DHIs. This framework generates text features and helps to build statistical models to predict target variables, including user engagement, symptom change, and therapeutic outcomes.

Methods: We first discussed various NLP techniques and demonstrated how they are implemented in the presented framework. We then applied the framework in a case study of the Healthy Body Image Program, a Web-based intervention trial for eating disorders (EDs). A total of 372 participants who screened positive for an ED received a DHI aimed at reducing ED psychopathology (including binge eating and purging behaviors) and improving body image. These users generated 37,228 intervention text snippets and exchanged 4285 user-coach messages, which were analyzed using the proposed model.

Results: We applied the framework to predict binge eating behavior, resulting in an area under the curve between 0.57 (when applied to new users) and 0.72 (when applied to new symptom reports of known users). In addition, initial evidence indicated that specific text features predicted the therapeutic outcome of reducing ED symptoms.

Conclusions: The case study demonstrates the usefulness of a structured approach to text data analytics. NLP techniques improve the prediction of symptom changes in DHIs. We present a technical framework that can be easily applied in other clinical trials and clinical presentations and encourage other groups to apply the framework in similar contexts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/13855DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059510PMC
February 2020

Recruiting participants to an Internet-based eating disorder prevention trial: Impact of the recruitment strategy on symptom severity and program utilization.

Int J Eat Disord 2020 05 29;53(5):476-484. Epub 2020 Feb 29.

Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Objective: Using data from a randomized controlled trial, we examined two different strategies to recruit participants for an indicated preventive intervention (StudentBodies-AN) for women at risk for anorexia nervosa and compared symptom severity and program utilization in participants recruited through each strategy.

Method: We recruited participants by announcing the study (a) in lectures at universities and handing out screening questionnaires (face-to-face recruitment) and (b) through different media channels, and the participants completed the screening questionnaire on our study website (media-based recruitment). We compared symptom severity and program utilization between the two groups.

Results: A total of 4,646 women (face-to-face: 3,741, media-based: 905) were screened and 168 women (face-to-face: 114, media-based: 54) were randomized to the intervention. We found a statistically and clinically significant association between recruitment strategy and symptom severity: Participants who were recruited through media were more likely to fulfill the inclusion criteria (40.6% vs. 13.3%; p < .001) and endorsed significantly more frequently core behaviors and attitudes of disordered eating (EDE global score: 2.72 vs. 2.17, p < .05; Weight Concerns Scale [WCS] score: 66.05 vs. 56.40, p < .05) at baseline than participants recruited face-to-face. Also, participants recruited through media were more likely to log onto the program (χ = 5.06; p = .029) and accessed more of the intervention.

Discussion: Recruitment through media seems both more feasible and suitable to reach individuals in need of indicative prevention, and should be part of a multimodal recruitment package. Future studies should be explicitly designed to investigate the impact of recruitment modality on reach and effectiveness including cost-effectiveness analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.23250DOI Listing
May 2020

Efficacy of a Specialized Group Intervention for Compulsive Exercise in Inpatients with Anorexia Nervosa: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Psychother Psychosom 2020 7;89(3):161-173. Epub 2020 Feb 7.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany.

Introduction: Treatment of compulsive exercise is recognized as a key unmet challenge in the treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN). To address this challenge, we developed the manualized group intervention "healthy exercise behavior" (HEB). This study evaluates the efficacy of HEB for the reduction of compulsive exercise as add-on to routine inpatient treatment (treatment as usual [TAU]) in a randomized controlled trial.

Methods: Two hundred and seven adolescent and adult female inpatients with (atypical) AN were randomly allocated to TAU or to additional participation in HEB (TAU + HEB). HEB integrates elements of exercise-based therapy into a cognitive-behavioral approach. Assessments took place at admission, pre-intervention, post-intervention, discharge, and 6 months follow-up. Primary outcome was the severity of compulsive exercise assessed by the Commitment to Exercise Scale between pre- and post-intervention; secondary outcomes were additional aspects of compulsive exercise, assessed by the Compulsive Exercise Test, weight gain, eating disorder and general psychopathology, and emotion regulation.

Results: In intention-to-treat analysis for the primary outcome, the TAU + HEB group showed significantly stronger reductions in the severity of compulsive exercise compared to the TAU group (z = -2.81; p = 0.005; effect size [ES] = -0.3). We also found significantly stronger reductions from admission to discharge (z= 2.62; p = 0.009; ES = -0.43), and from admission to follow-up (z = 2.1; p = 0.035; ES = -0.39). Regarding secondary outcomes, we found significant group differences between pre- and post-intervention in additional aspects of compulsive exercise (z = -2.55; p = 0.011; ES = -0.27). We did not find significant differences regarding weight gain, eating disorder and general psychopathology, and emotion regulation.

Conclusions: Our intervention proved efficacious in reducing compulsive exercise in inpatients with (atypical) AN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000504583DOI Listing
March 2021

Prevention of eating disorders at universities: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Int J Eat Disord 2020 06 14;53(6):813-833. Epub 2020 Jan 14.

Department of Clinical, Neuro, and Developmental Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Eating problems are highly prevalent among young adults. Universities could be an optimal setting to prevent the onset of eating disorders through psychological intervention. As part of the World Mental Health-International College Student initiative, this systematic review and meta-analysis synthesizes data on the efficacy of eating disorder prevention programs targeting university students.

Method: A systematic literature search of bibliographical databases (CENTRAL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO) for randomized trials comparing psychological preventive interventions for eating disorders targeting university students with psychoeducation or inactive controls was performed on October 22, 2019.

Results: Twenty-seven studies were included. Thirteen (48.1%) were rated to have a low risk of bias. The relative risk of developing a subthreshold or full-blown eating disorder was incidence rate ratio = 0.62 (95% CI [0.44, 0.87], n = 8, numbers-needed-to-treat [NNT] = 26.08; standardized clinical interviews only), indicating a 38% decrease in incidence in the intervention groups compared to controls. Small to moderate between-group effects at posttest were found on eating disorder symptoms (g = 0.35, 95% CI [0.24, 0.46], NNT = 5.10, n = 26), dieting (g = 0.43, 95% CI [0.29, 0.57], NNT = 4.17, n = 21), body dissatisfaction (g = 0.40, 95% CI [0.27, 0.53], NNT = 4.48, n = 25), drive for thinness (g = 0.43, 95% CI [0.27, 0.59], NNT = 4.23, n = 12), weight concerns (g = 0.33, 95% CI [0.10, 0.57], NNT = 5.35, n = 13), and affective symptoms (g = 0.27, 95% CI [0.15, 0.38], NNT = 6.70, n = 18). The effects on bulimia nervosa symptoms were not significant. Heterogeneity was moderate across comparisons.

Discussion: Eating disorder prevention on campus can have significant, small-to-moderate effects on eating disorder symptoms and risk factors. Results also suggest that the prevention of subthreshold and full-syndrome eating disorders is feasible using such interventions. More research is needed to identify ways to motivate students to use preventive eating disorder interventions.

Antecedentes: Los trastornos de la conducta alimentaria son altamente prevalentes entre los adultos jóvenes. Las universidades podrían ser un entorno óptimo para prevenir la aparición de trastornos alimentarios a través de la intervención psicológica. Como parte de la iniciativa World Mental Health-International College Student, esta revisión sistemática y meta-análisis sintetiza datos sobre la eficacia de los programas de prevención de trastornos alimentarios dirigidos a estudiantes universitarios. MÉTODO: Una búsqueda bibliográfica sistemática de datos bibliográficas (CENTRAL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO) para ensayos aleatorios que comparaban intervenciones preventivas psicológicas para trastornos alimentarios dirigidos a estudiantes universitarios con psicoeducación o controles inactivos fue realizada hasta el 22 de octubre de 2019.

Resultados: Se incluyeron 27 estudios. Trece (48,1%) fueron calificados como de bajo riesgo de sesgo. El riesgo relativo de desarrollar un trastorno de la conducta alimentaria subclínico (parcial) o completo fue IRR = 0.62 (95% CI [0.44, 0.87], n = 8, NNT = 26.08; sólo entrevistas clínicas estandarizadas), lo que indica una disminución del 38% en la incidencia en los grupos de intervención en comparación con los controles. Se encontraron efectos pequeños a moderados entre los grupos en la post-prueba en los síntomas del trastorno alimentario (g = 0.35, 95% CI [0.24, 0.46], NNT = 5.10, n = 26), dieta (g = 0.43, 95% CI [0.29, 0.57], NNT = 4.17, n = 21), insatisfacción corporal (g = 0.40, 95% CI [0.27, 0.53], NNT = 4.48, n = 25), impulso por delgadez (g = 0.43, 95% CI [0.27, 0.59], NNT = 4.23, n = 12), problemas de peso (g = 0.33, 95% CI [0.10, 0.57], NNT = 5.35, n = 13) y síntomas afectivos (g = 0.27, 95% CI [0.15, 0.38], NNT = 6.70, n = 18). Los efectos sobre los síntomas de la bulimia nervosa no fueron significativos. La heterogeneidad fue moderada en las comparaciones. DISCUSIÓN: La prevención de los trastornos de la conducta alimentaria en el campus universitario puede tener efectos significativos, de pequeños a moderados, sobre los síntomas del trastorno alimentario y los factores de riesgo. Los resultados también sugieren que la prevención de los trastornos alimentarios subclínicos o parciales y síndromes completos es factible utilizando tales intervenciones. Se necesita más investigación para identificar formas de motivar a los estudiantes a usar intervenciones preventivas para los trastornos de la conducta alimentaria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.23224DOI Listing
June 2020

Optimizing eating disorder treatment outcomes for individuals identified via screening: An idea worth researching.

Int J Eat Disord 2019 11 10;52(11):1224-1228. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Institute for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Technische Universitat, Dresden, Germany.

In recent years, online screens have been commonly used to identify individuals who may have eating disorders (EDs), many of whom may be interested in treatment. We describe a new empirical approach that takes advantage of current evidence on empirically supported, effective treatments, while at the same time, uses modern statistical frameworks and experimental designs, data-driven science, and user-centered design methods to study ways to expand the reach of programs, enhance our understanding of what works for whom, and improve outcomes, overall and in subpopulations. The research would focus on individuals with EDs identified through screening and would use continuously monitored data, and interactions of interventions/approaches to optimize reach, uptake, engagement, and outcome. Outcome would be assessed at the population, rather than individual level. The idea worth researching is to determine if an optimization outcome model produces significantly higher rates of clinical improvement at a population level than do current approaches, in which traditional interventions are only offered to the few people who are interested in and able to access them.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.23169DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7212685PMC
November 2019

Adherence Reporting in Randomized Controlled Trials Examining Manualized Multisession Online Interventions: Systematic Review of Practices and Proposal for Reporting Standards.

J Med Internet Res 2019 08 15;21(8):e14181. Epub 2019 Aug 15.

Faculty of Psychology, School of Science, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Background: Adherence reflects the extent to which individuals experience or engage with the content of online interventions and poses a major challenge. Neglecting to examine and report adherence and its relation to outcomes can compromise the interpretation of research findings.

Objective: The aim of this systematic review is to analyze how adherence is accounted for in publications and to propose standards for measuring and reporting adherence to online interventions.

Methods: We performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials on online interventions for the prevention and treatment of common mental disorders (depression, anxiety disorders, substance related disorders, and eating disorders) published between January 2006 and May 2018 and indexed in Medline and Web of Science. We included primary publications on manualized online treatments (more than 1 session and successive access to content) and examined how adherence was reported in these publications.

Results: We identified 216 publications that met our inclusion criteria. Adherence was addressed in 85% of full-text manuscripts, but only in 31% of abstracts. A median of three usage metrics were reported; the most frequently reported usage metric (61%) was intervention completion. Manuscripts published in specialized electronic health journals more frequently included information on the relation of adherence and outcomes.

Conclusions: We found substantial variety in the reporting of adherence and the usage metrics used to operationalize adherence. This limits the comparability of results and impedes the integration of findings from different studies. Based on our findings, we propose reporting standards for future publications on online interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/14181DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6713038PMC
August 2019

Promoting positive body image and intuitive eating in women with overweight and obesity via an online intervention: Results from a pilot feasibility study.

Eat Behav 2019 08 11;34:101307. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Chair of Clinical Psychology and E-Mental-Health, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany.

Background: Body dissatisfaction and dietary restraint are established risk factors for eating disorders and are also prevalent in individuals who are overweight and obese. Studies have shown that online prevention programs can lower these risk factors. The aim of this feasibility pilot study was to estimate effects of a 12-week online health promotion and eating disorder prevention program in a sample of women with overweight or obesity, but without binge eating.

Methods: The program was evaluated in an uncontrolled pre-post-follow-upstudy over 12 months. Outcome measures were eating disorder related cognitions and attitudes. Participants were recruited via flyers, online posts, press releases, and mailings through cooperating health insurances.

Results: 371 women who completed the screening met the inclusion criteria. 323 women took part in the baseline assessment and were granted access to the intervention. 50 women completed all sessions. An intention-to-treat analysis showed significant and long-term reductions in weight and shape concerns, restrictive eating and increases in life satisfaction and self-esteem (d = 0.31-0.86), and a short-term increase in fruit and vegetable consumption (d = 0.70).

Conclusion: everyBody fit seems a feasible program for improving body image and reducing disordered eating in overweight and obese women, with medium to large effects on various outcomes. The efficacy of the intervention needs to be established in a randomized controlled trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2019.101307DOI Listing
August 2019

[Finding the needles in the haystack: quality criteria for the use of internet-based self-management interventions in the prevention and treatment of mental disorders].

Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr 2019 Mar 19;87(3):187-191. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Zentrum für Neurologie, Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie, Alexianer St. Joseph Krankenhaus, Berlin.

Numerous self-management interventions have proven to be efficacious in the treatment of a number of mental disorders in randomized trials. However, these interventions have not yet reached clinical routine everywhere. Among other things, this is due to the fact that, in addition to the evidence-based interventions, other interventions are offered that have never been scientifically investigated, and in some cases, do not even rely on evidence-based methods of psychotherapy. The present quality criteria, developed by the two professional associations DGPs and DGPPN, are intended to help patients, practitioners and decision-makers in the health care sector to identify safe and efficacious interventions. The core quality criteria cover the following aspects: safety of patients and their data; ensuring therapeutic quality by using evidence-based psychotherapeutic methods and developing the intervention in liaison with licensed psychotherapists or medical specialists; the presence of proof of efficacy from at least one randomized trial; and transparency regarding key information, e. g., the cost of the intervention. We hope that these criteria can contribute to the inclusion of self-management interventions in the range of services covered by statutory health insurance companies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-0849-9902DOI Listing
March 2019

Interrelations between participant and intervention characteristics, process variables and outcomes in online interventions: A protocol for overarching analyses within and across seven clinical trials in ICare.

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 1;16:86-97. Epub 2018 Jun 1.

Technische Universität Dresden, School of Science, Department of Psychology, Chair of Clinical Psychology and E-Mental-Health, Dresden, Germany.

Background: It is well known that web-based interventions can be effective treatments for various conditions. Less is known about predictors, moderators, and mediators of outcome and especially interrelations between participant and interventions characteristics, process variables and outcomes in online interventions. Clinical trials often lack statistical power to detect variables that affect intervention effects and their interrelations. Within ICare, we can investigate the interrelation of potential predictor and process variables in a large sample.

Method: The ICare consortium postulated a model of interrelations between participant and intervention characteristics, process variables and outcomes in online interventions. We will assess general and disorder-specific interrelations between characteristics of the intervention, characteristics of the participants, adherence, working alliance, early response, and intervention outcomes in a sample of over 7500 participants from seven clinical trials evaluating 15 online interventions addressing a range of mental health conditions and disorders, using an individual participant data meta-analyses approach.

Discussion/conclusion: Existing research tends to support the efficacy of online mental health interventions, but the knowledge base regarding factors that affect intervention effects needs to be expanded. The overarching analyses using data from the ICare intervention trials will add considerably to the evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.05.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364443PMC
April 2019

A web-based intervention for carers of individuals with anorexia nervosa (We Can): Trial protocol of a randomised controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of different levels of support.

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 22;16:76-85. Epub 2018 Feb 22.

King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Section of Eating Disorders, PO Box 59, 16, De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF, UK.

Background: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a life-threatening mental disorder that is associated with substantial caregiver burden. Carers of individuals with AN report high levels of distress and self-blame, and insufficient knowledge to help their loved ones. However, carers can have a very important role to play in aiding recovery from AN, and are often highly motivated to assist in the treatment process. This manuscript presents the protocol for a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of We Can, a web-based intervention for carers for people with AN. The study aims to investigate the effectiveness of We Can delivered with different intensities of support.

Methods: The study takes the form of a multi-site, two-country, three group RCT, comparing We Can (a) with clinician messaging support (We Can-Ind), (b) with moderated carer chatroom support (We Can-Chat) and (c) with online forum only (We Can-Forum). Participants will be 303 carers of individuals with AN as well as, where possible, the individuals with AN themselves. Recruitment will be via specialist eating disorder services and carer support services in the UK and Germany. Randomisation of carers to one of the three intervention conditions in a 1:1:1 ratio will be stratified by whether or not the individual with AN has (a) agreed to participate in the study and (b) is a current inpatient. The We Can intervention will be provided to carers online over a period of 12 weeks. Participants will complete self-report questionnaires at pre-intervention (T1), mid-intervention (mediators only; 4-weeks post-randomisation), post-intervention (T2; 3-months post randomisation), and 6 months (T3) and 12 months (T4) after randomisation. The primary outcome variables are carer symptoms of depression and anxiety. Secondary outcome variables will be measured in both carers and individuals with AN. Secondary carer outcome variables will include alcohol and drug use and quality of life, caregiving behaviour, and the acceptability and use of We Can and associated supports. Secondary outcomes measured in individuals with AN will include eating disorder symptoms, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. The study will also evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the three We Can conditions, and test for mediators and moderators of the effects of We Can. The trial is registered at the International Standard Randomisation Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) database, registration number: ISRCTN11399850.

Discussion: The study will provide insight into the effectiveness of We Can and its optimal method/s of delivery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.02.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364327PMC
April 2019

Healthy Teens @ School: Evaluating and disseminating transdiagnostic preventive interventions for eating disorders and obesity for adolescents in school settings.

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 27;16:65-75. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

FernFH Distance Learning University of Applied Sciences, Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

Background: The worldwide prevalence of overweight and obesity is at alarming levels. Nearly one in three children in Europe is overweight or obese. Disordered eating and body image concerns are equally widespread and increase risk for more chronic and severe weight-related problems. Research has shown that online interventions that address both healthy weight regulation and body image can reduce risk for eating disorders and obesity simultaneously and are feasible to implement in school settings. To date, evaluation and dissemination of such programs in Europe is scant.

Methods: The study is a multi-country cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing the effectiveness of an unguided, online, multi-level intervention for promoting a healthy lifestyle and reducing problematic eating behavior, eating disorder and obesity risk among students aged 14 to 19 years with control condition. As part of the Horizon 2020 funded project ICare (GA No. 634757) the trial is conducted in Austria and Spain. Cluster randomization by school is used. The intervention is an adapted version of an evidence-based program developed in the USA (StayingFit). Participants of the intervention group are assigned to one of two possible program tracks based on the results of the initial online-assessment: Overweight adolescents are assigned to the "Weight Management" track emphasizing balanced eating and exercise for weight maintenance, and all other individuals are assigned to the "Healthy Habits" track which aims at promoting healthy habits related to e.g., nutrition, physical activity, sleep. The participants of both tracks work on ten modules (one 20-30 min module per week) during school hours and/or at home. Assessments are conducted at pre- and post-intervention, and at 6- and 12-months after baseline assessment. The primary outcome is intuitive eating, secondary outcomes are eating disorder symptomatology, body image concerns, body mass index, food intake, physical activity, self-esteem, stress coping, depression, and anxiety. Following the initial assessment, individuals in the control group do not have access to the prevention program but continue as normal and are only prompted to the assessments at all time points. At the end of the 12-month study they will get access to the program.

Discussion: The results from this study will add to the understanding of how to address eating and weight related problems in adolescents and will shed light on the feasibility of implementing online prevention programs in school routine in Austria and Spain. As part of the larger ICare project this RCT will determine how an adapted version of StayingFit is disseminated within Europe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.02.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364512PMC
April 2019

Efficacy and cost-effectiveness of guided and unguided internet- and mobile-based indicated transdiagnostic prevention of depression and anxiety (ICare Prevent): A three-armed randomized controlled trial in four European countries.

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 15;16:52-64. Epub 2018 Apr 15.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Nägelsbachstraße 25a, Germany.

Background: Depression and anxiety are highly prevalent and often co-occur. Several studies indicate the potential of disorder-specific psychological interventions for the prevention of each of these disorders. To treat comorbidity, transdiagnostic treatment concepts seem to be a promising approach, however, evidence for transdiagnostic concepts of prevention remains inconclusive. Internet- and mobile-based interventions (IMIs) may be an effective means to deliver psychological interventions on a large scale for the prevention of common mental disorders (CMDs) such as depression and anxiety. IMIs have been shown to be effective in treating CMDs, e.g. in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, there is a lack of studies examining the efficacy of interventions reducing the incidence of CMDs. Moreover, the comparative cost-effectiveness of guided versus unguided IMIs for the prevention of depression and anxiety has not been studied yet. Hence, this study aims at investigating the (cost-) effectiveness of guided and unguided internet- and mobile-based transdiagnostic individually tailored indicated prevention of depression and anxiety.

Methods: A multi-country three-armed randomized controlled trial will be conducted to compare a guided and unguided intervention to treatment as usual (TAU). Both active conditions are based on the same intervention, , and differ only with regard to guidance format. Altogether, 954 individuals with subclinical symptoms of depression (CES-D ≥ 16) and anxiety (GAD-7 ≥ 5) who do not have a full-blown disorder will be recruited in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands, and randomized to one of three conditions (guided intervention, unguided intervention, or TAU). The TAU arm will receive access to the training after a 12-month waiting period. The primary outcome will be time to CMD onset (any depression/anxiety disorder) within a follow-up period of 12 months after baseline. Secondary outcomes will include disorder-specific symptom severity (depression/anxiety) assessed by diagnostic raters blinded to intervention condition at post-intervention, self-reports, acceptability, health related quality of life, and psychosocial variables associated with developing a CMD. Assessments will take place at baseline, mid-intervention (5 weeks into the intervention), post-intervention (8 weeks after randomization) and follow-up (6 and 12 months after randomization). Data will be analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis and per protocol. Cost-effectiveness will be evaluated from a public health and a societal perspective, including both direct and indirect costs.

Discussion: The present study will further enhance the evidence-base for transdiagnostic preventive interventions and provide valuable information about optimal trade-off between treatment outcome and costs.

Trial Registration: German Clinical Trial Registration (DRKS - http://www.drks.de/drks_web/): DRKS00011099.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.04.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364519PMC
April 2019

An Internet based intervention for improving resilience and coping strategies in university students: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 22;16:43-51. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

University Jaume, Castellón, Spain.

Background: The literature shows a high prevalence of depression and anxiety in young people. The university represents a change in the lives of students, and is considered a stress factor. Therefore, it is particularly relevant to develop interventions specifically addressed to students and foster supportive environments and resilient communities. As students are "digital natives", online interventions offer several potential advantages in doing this. This study aims to develop and evaluate the efficacy of an Internet-based intervention (CORE: Cultivating our Resilience), based on the Ryff model of well-being, to promote resilience and coping skills, decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, and increase overall wellbeing in young people confronting a crucial life event (the university). This paper summarizes the study protocol.

Method: The design of the planned study is a randomized controlled trial. A minimum of 464 participants will be randomly assigned to two conditions: 1) an unguided Internet-based intervention to enhance resilience (N = 232); 2) a care-as-usual condition (CAU) (N = 232). The primary outcome will be the Connor-Davidson resilience scale. Secondary outcomes will - among others - include other relevant clinical measures, such as anxiety and depressive symptoms, quality of life, and social support. Outcomes will be assessed 4 and 8 weeks, and 6 and 12-months follow-ups. Intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses will be performed.

Discussion: The results of this study will contribute to the growing research on Internet-delivered interventions. The expected results may have a major impact on the prevention of mental disorders and possible negative consequences in at-risk populations, such as college students.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.03.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364440PMC
April 2019

Web-based indicated prevention of common mental disorders in university students in four European countries - Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 15;16:35-42. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Section of Eating Disorders, PO59, 16 De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom.

Background: Mental disorders and their symptoms are highly prevalent in the university student population, and the transition from secondary to tertiary education is associated with a rise in mental health problems. Existing web-based interventions for the prevention of common mental disorders in student populations often focus on just one disorder and have not been designed specifically for students. There is thus a need for transdiagnostic, student-specific preventative interventions that can be widely disseminated. This two-arm, parallel group randomised controlled trial aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a web-based transdiagnostic mental health problem prevention programme (PLUS) across several universities in four countries.

Method: Students ( = 5550) will be recruited through a variety of channels and asked to complete a personality assessment to determine whether they are at high risk for developing common mental disorders. Students at high risk will be randomly allocated to either PLUS or a control intervention, which provides practical support around issues commonly experienced at university. Students at low risk will be allocated to the control intervention. Both intervention groups will be assessed at baseline, 4 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after randomisation. Depression and generalised anxiety, assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire and the Generalised Anxiety Disorder scales, will form the primary outcomes in this study. Secondary outcome measures include alcohol and drug use, eating behaviour, self-esteem, and quality of life. The cost-effectiveness of the intervention will also be evaluated.

Conclusions: This study will contribute to understanding the role of transdiagnostic indicated web-based interventions for the prevention of common mental disorders in university students. It will also be one of the first studies to investigate the cost-effectiveness of such interventions.

Trial Registration: This trial was registered in the ISRCTN register (ISRCTN15570935) on 12th February 2016.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.02.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364328PMC
April 2019

Using internet-based self-help to bridge waiting time for face-to-face outpatient treatment for Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and related disorders: Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial.

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 26;16:26-34. Epub 2018 Feb 26.

Technische Universität Dresden, Institut für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie, Chemnitzer Str. 46, D-01187 Dresden, Germany.

Background: Eating disorders are serious conditions associated with an impaired health-related quality of life and increased healthcare utilization and costs. Despite the existence of evidence-based treatments, access to treatment is often delayed due to insufficient health care resources. Internet-based self-help interventions may have the potential to successfully bridge waiting time for face-to-face outpatient treatment and, thus, contribute to overcoming treatment gaps. However, little is known about the feasibility of implementing such interventions into routine healthcare. The aim of this study is to analyze the effects and feasibility of an Internet-based self-help intervention (everyBody Plus) specifically designed for patients with Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED) on a waiting list for outpatient face-to-face treatment. The aim of this paper is to describe the study protocol.

Methods: A multi-country randomized controlled trial will be conducted in Germany and the UK. N = 275 female patients awaiting outpatient treatment will be randomly allocated either to the guided online self-help intervention "everyBody Plus" or a waitlist control group condition without access to the intervention. everyBody Plus comprises eight weekly sessions that cover topics related to eating and exercise patterns, coping with negative emotions and stress as well as improving body image. Participants will receive weekly individualized feedback based on their self-monitoring and journal entries. Assessments will take place at baseline, post-intervention as well as at 6- and 12-months follow up. In addition, all participants will be asked to monitor core eating disorder symptoms weekly to provide data on the primary outcome. The primary outcome will be number of weeks after randomization until a patient achieves a clinically relevant improvement in core symptoms (BMI, binge eating, compensatory behaviors) for the first time. Secondary outcomes include frequency of core symptoms and eating disorder related attitudes and behaviors, as well as associated psychopathology. Additional secondary outcomes will be the participating therapists' confidence in treating eating disorders as well as perceived benefits of everyBody Plus for patients.

Discussion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial examining the effects of Internet-based self-help for outpatients with eating disorders awaiting face-to-face outpatient treatment. If proven to be effective and successfully implemented, Internet-based self-help programs might be used as a first step of treatment within a stepped-care approach, thus reducing burden and cost for both patients and health care providers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.02.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364326PMC
April 2019

everyBody-Tailored online health promotion and eating disorder prevention for women: Study protocol of a dissemination trial.

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 26;16:20-25. Epub 2018 Feb 26.

Technische Universität Dresden, Institut für Klinische Psychologie & Psychotherapie, Chemnitzer Str. 46, 01187 Dresden, Germany.

Background: Although there is extensive evidence for the efficacy of online eating disorder (ED) prevention programs in clinical trials, these programs have rarely been adopted beyond the trial phase and offered to a wider audience. As risk factors for eating disorders are partly associated with overweight and overweight in turn is correlated to disordered eating, this study will offer a combined eating disorder prevention program which also promotes a balanced lifestyle to normal weight and overweight individuals alike. The efficacy of the program has been proven in previous trials. The study aims to evaluate the dissemination of a combined eating disorder prevention and health promotion program (everyBody) to women of all age groups and varying levels of ED risk status in the general population.

Methods: A dissemination trial will be conducted in German-speaking countries, including 4160 women from the general population. Participants will be screened to exclude participants who are likely to have an ED. Eligible participants will be allocated to one of five program arms based on their BMI and respective ED symptoms. The guided program consists of 4 to 12 weeks of weekly sessions offering CBT-based exercises, psychoeducational material, self-monitoring, and group discussions. Outcomes will be assessed according to the RE-AIM model, including measures of effectiveness, reach, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of the program.

Discussion/conclusions: This trial aims to disseminate a combined ED prevention and health promotion program in the general population, offering universal, selective and indicated prevention in one program. To our knowledge, it is the first trial to systematically evaluate dissemination efforts based on the RE-AIM model. This trial will be conducted as part of the EU-funded ICare (Integrating Technology into Mental Health Care Delivery in Europe) project.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.02.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364518PMC
April 2019

Assessing the costs and cost-effectiveness of ICare internet-based interventions (protocol).

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 27;16:12-19. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

TechnischeUniversität Dresden, School of Science, Faculty of Psychology, Chair ofClinical Psychology and E-Mental-Health, 01062 Dresden, Germany.

Background: Mental health problems are common and place a burden on the individual as well as on societal resources. Despite the existence of evidence-based treatments, access to treatment is often prevented or delayed due to insufficient health care resources. Effective internet-based self-help interventions have the potential to reduce the risk for mental health problems, to successfully bridge waiting time for face-to-face treatment and to address inequities in access. However, little is known about the cost-effectiveness of such interventions. This paper describes the study protocol for the economic evaluation of the studies that form the ICare programme of internet-based interventions for the prevention and treatment of a range of mental health problems.

Methods: An overarching work package within the ICare programme was developed to assess the cost-effectiveness of the internet-based interventions alongside the clinical trials. There are two underlying tasks in the ICare economic evaluation. First, to develop schedules that generate equivalent and comparable information on use of services and supports across seven countries taking part in clinical trials of different interventions and second, to estimate unit costs for each service and support used. From these data the cost per person will be estimated by multiplying each participant's use of each service by the unit cost for that service. Additionally, productivity losses will be estimated. This individual level of cost data matches the level of outcome data used in the clinical trials. Following the analyses of service use and costs data, joint analysis of costs and outcomes will be undertaken to provide findings on the relative cost-effectiveness of the interventions, taking both a public sector and a societal perspective. These analyses use a well-established framework, the Production of Welfare approach, and standard methods and techniques underpinned by economic theory.

Discussion/conclusion: Existing research tends to support the effectiveness of internet-based interventions, but there is little information on their cost-effectiveness compared to 'treatment as usual'. The economic evaluation of ICare interventions will add considerably to this evidence base.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.02.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364355PMC
April 2019

Internet-based aftercare for women with bulimia nervosa following inpatient treatment: The role of adherence.

Internet Interv 2019 Mar 14;15:67-75. Epub 2019 Jan 14.

Chair of Clinical Psychology, E-Mental-Health, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany.

Facing poor long-term outcome and high relapse rates in the treatment of bulimia nervosa, we developed an Internet-based aftercare program for women with severe and chronic bulimia nervosa following inpatient treatment based on previous experiences with self-directed targeted prevention and early intervention programs delivered online. The aim of the present study was to examine adherence to the program in detail, to explore potential variables that predict adherence and to analyze whether adherence affects outcomes. We analyzed data from 126 women in the intervention group of a randomized controlled trial. 107 women (85%) logged on to the program platform at least once. These women opened on average 42.8% (SD = 31.9%) of all assigned program pages. Adherence declined during the course of the intervention. Adherence was not associated with the number of outpatient treatment sessions received during the intervention period. Adherence was not related to overall illness severity or duration at baseline. However, excessive exercise at hospital discharge (which may be a sign of insufficient motivation to change eating disorder related behaviors) seems to play some small role in adherence. Adherence did not affect intervention outcomes. Based on our findings, we would like to advocate further research on online aftercare interventions for women with severe and chronic bulimia nervosa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.11.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6350217PMC
March 2019

Combining day treatment and outpatient treatment for eating disorders: findings from a naturalistic setting.

Eat Weight Disord 2020 Apr 31;25(2):519-530. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062, Dresden, Germany.

Background: Day treatment programs for individuals with eating disorders (ED) have been the subject of research and are promoted as an alternative to inpatient treatment due to their therapeutic and economic advantages, but have not regularly been implemented in regular care.

Purpose: We investigated the long-term effectiveness of a transdiagnostic combined eating disorder treatment program which consisted of an 8-week day treatment phase followed by an average of 19 sessions of outpatient treatment over an average of 39 weeks in a naturalistic setting.

Methods: We accepted 148 patients with different diagnoses of eating disorders into our combined treatment program. We assessed weight, behavioral eating disorder symptoms and eating disorder related cognitions and attitudes at the beginning and the end of the day treatment phase and after 6, 12 and 26 months.

Results: Over the course of the 8-week day treatment phase, patients with initial binge eating, purging and/or fasting behavior reduced these symptoms by 91%, 90% and, 86%. Patients who were underweight at baseline gained on average 1.05 BMI points (d = 0.76). In addition, eating disorder related cognitions and attitudes of all patients significantly improved with large effect sizes (d = 1.12). On average, all improvements remained stable during the follow-up period.

Conclusions: Our findings add to the existing studies on day treatment and support previously found encouraging effects of treatment programs that combine day treatment and consecutive outpatient treatment for eating disorders.

Level Of Evidence: Level III, longitudinal cohort study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40519-019-00643-6DOI Listing
April 2020

Efficacy of a Parent-Based, Indicated Prevention for Anorexia Nervosa: Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Med Internet Res 2018 12 14;20(12):e296. Epub 2018 Dec 14.

Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, United States.

Background: Web-based preventive interventions can reduce risk and incidence of bulimia and binge eating disorders among young high-risk women. However, their specific effects on core symptoms of anorexia nervosa (AN) are rather weak.

Objective: The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of an indicated, parent-based, Web-based preventive program Eltern als Therapeuten ([email protected]) in reducing risk factors and symptoms of AN.

Methods: Girls aged between 11 and 17 years were screened by selected risk factors and early symptoms of AN. At-risk families were then randomized to [email protected] or an assessment-only control condition. Assessments took place at pre- and postintervention (6 weeks later) and at 6- and 12-month follow-up (FU).

Results: A total of 12,377 screening questionnaires were handed out in 86 German schools, and 3941 including consent returned. Overall, 477 (447/3941, 12.10%) girls were identified as at risk for AN and 256 of those could be contacted. In all, 66 families (66/256, 25.8% of those contacted) were randomized to the [email protected] or a wait-list control condition, 43 (43/66, 65%) participated in postassessments, and 27 (27/66, 41%) in 12-month FUs. Due to low participation and high dropout rates of parents, recruitment was terminated prematurely. At 12-month FU, girls' expected body weight (EBW) percentage was significantly greater for intervention participants compared with control participants (group by time interaction beta=21.0 [CI 5.81 to 36.13], P=.007; group by time squared interaction beta=-15.5 [CI -26.6 to -4.49], P=.007; estimated Cohen d=0.42]. No other significant effects were found on risk factors and attitudes of disturbed eating.

Conclusions: Despite a significant increase in girls' EBW percentage, parental participation and adherence to the intervention were low. Overall, parent-based, indicated prevention for children at risk for AN does not seem very promising, although it might be useful for parents who engage in the intervention.

Trial Registration: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 18614564; http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN18614564 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/74FTV1EpF).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.9464DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315221PMC
December 2018

Compulsive exercise in eating disorders: proposal for a definition and a clinical assessment.

J Eat Disord 2018 28;6:42. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

Schoen Clinic Roseneck, Am Roseneck 6, Prien am Chiemsee, Germany.

Background: Compulsive exercise has been recognized as a highly prevalent symptom in eating disorders (ED) for over 100 years and is associated with poor short-term and long-term treatment outcome. Progress in understanding and treatment of compulsive exercise will remain limited as long as no consensus framework for definition and assessment of compulsive exercise exists, as results cannot be compared across clinical studies.Based on existing literature, it was our aim to propose a transdiagnostic definition and a clinical assessment for compulsive exercise, that can be applied to adolescent and adult patients with ED.

Method: During a series of meetings of experienced clinicians at a highly specialized hospital for eating disorders, we elaborated a transdiagnostic definition of compulsive exercise in ED. Additionally, we derived a clinical interview for the assessment of compulsive exercise and its different subtypes.

Results: The core criterion when defining and assessing compulsive exercise is a pathologically increased exercise pattern characterized by 1) excessive exercise that a patient feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly, and 2) exercise that is aimed at preventing or reducing distress or at preventing some dreaded consequence. A second necessary criterion is the physical or psychological burden caused by compulsive exercise, i.e., that it is time-consuming, significantly interferes with the patient's daily routine, occupational functioning or social relationships or is continued despite medical injury, illness, or lack of enjoyment. Insight that compulsive exercise is excessive or unreasonable was added as an optional criterion.Compulsive exercise manifests itself in three different subtypes: 1) vigorous exercise, 2) marked increase in daily movement, or 3) motor restlessness.The above criteria must be met during the past 6 months, together with one of the three subtypes of compulsive exercise.

Conclusions: The proposed criteria aim to foster the discussion around definition and assessment of compulsive exercise with the goal of reaching an international consensus in the near future.Providing a consistent framework for researchers and clinicians would considerably advance understanding and treatment of compulsive exercise in ED patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40337-018-0219-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6260729PMC
November 2018
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