Publications by authors named "Gemma Gordon"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Participants' experience of approach bias modification training with transcranial Direct Current Stimulation as a combination treatment for binge eating disorder.

Eur Eat Disord Rev 2021 Aug 30. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

Objective: This study explored participants' experience of approach bias modification training (ABM) with transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) for binge eating disorder (BED) within a randomised controlled trial (RCT). A subset of participants who completed the RCT were interviewed to attain feedback on treatment experience and outcomes.

Method: 15 participants with BED who completed the RCT were recruited, using purposive sampling. Participants received six sessions of concurrent ABM training with either real or sham tDCS. Semi-structured interviews relating to study experience and treatment outcomes were conducted and data were analysed thematically.

Results: The combined ABM and tDCS intervention was deemed acceptable and worthwhile by participants interviewed across both intervention groups. Negative preconceptions of tDCS were an initial deterrent to study participation for some, yet the brain stimulation experience was found to be tolerable. Minor and transient sensations and side effects attributed to tDCS were reported by most participants during and after stimulation, in addition to less pleasant aspects of ABM training, with no significant adverse effects reported by interviewees. Positive outcomes were described by participants across both intervention groups, relating to changes in BED symptoms and to broader beneficial effects on associated cognitive and emotional factors. Two participants experienced a shift in autonomy, attributed to tDCS and the combined intervention respectively.

Conclusions: Adults with symptoms of BED found concurrent ABM and tDCS sessions to be acceptable, despite initial apprehension about the safety of tDCS. Findings are relevant to the neuroethics literature and may inform science communication strategies on neuromodulation treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/erv.2859DOI Listing
August 2021

Views on online self-help programmes from people with eating disorders and their carers in UK.

Eur J Public Health 2021 07;31(31 Suppl 1):i88-i93

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

Background: Digitalizing the healthcare system has been declared a priority by the UK government. People with eating disorders (EDs), especially those with bulimia nervosa (BN) or binge eating disorder (BED), and ED carers may benefit from online self-help programmes, due to the shame and stigma associated with EDs and barriers in accessing treatment, skills-training or support. Qualitative studies are needed to explore stakeholders' needs, attitudes to and views about online self-help, to optimize intervention design and delivery.

Methods: Focus groups and telephone interviews were conducted with people with BN or BED, and carers of people with anorexia nervosa, between March and September 2018 in the UK.

Results: People with EDs and carers perceived online self-help positively in the context of barriers to seeking and accessing treatment and support, despite some seeing it as inferior to face-to-face support. Most reported little experience with online interventions. Participants thought the disadvantages of online interventions could be overcome by reminders, progress summaries, regular engagement and engaging with peers. Receiving guidance was seen as an important functionality in the intervention by people with EDs.

Conclusions: People with EDs and their carers are aware of the potential benefits of online self-help despite having little experience with this form of intervention. A stepped-care approach that utilizes technology-based interventions as a first step and makes such interventions available directly to the consumer may fit the attitudes and needs of stakeholders. The study provides a foundation for future research on design and delivery of ED online self-help.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab046DOI Listing
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
July 2021

The outcomes of mindfulness-based interventions for Obesity and Binge Eating Disorder: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Appetite 2021 11 16;166:105464. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Psychological Medicine, Section of Eating Disorders, UK; South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Mindfulness Based Interventions (MBIs) for weight loss and overeating-related behaviours have recently gained popularity. Previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses included studies of variable quality, which hinders interpretation of results. This meta-analysis examined only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the efficacy of MBIs with control groups primarily encouraging either dietary or exercise-based behavioural change in individuals with overweight/obesity and/or binge eating disorder (BED).

Methods: Using PRISMA guidelines, we systematically reviewed relevant articles in Medline, Psychinfo and EMBASE. Twelve eligible RCTs were identified, with three random-effects meta-analyses conducted on primary outcome measures of body mass (N = 11), mindfulness (N = 7) and BED symptoms (N = 3).

Results: MBIs were more efficacious than control in increasing mindfulness scores and decreasing BED symptoms from pre-to post-treatment. However, they were no more efficacious than control in reducing body mass which may be attributed to variability in the duration of interventions. Based on intervention duration, exploratory cumulative meta-analyses revealed that while shorter interventions (i.e., 6 weeks) showed greater reductions in body mass compared to longer interventions (i.e., 24 weeks), longer interventions led to greater improvements in mindfulness scores and BED symptoms.

Conclusions: These results highlight the potential of MBIs to improve obesity-related behaviours compared to lifestyle interventions, but their effects on short-term weight loss remain unclear. Future research with a rigorous methodology should consider long-term follow-ups including body mass and mindfulness-related outcome measures in order to establish the clinical potential of MBIs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2021.105464DOI Listing
November 2021

Exploring Participants' Experiences of a Web-Based Program for Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder: Qualitative Study.

J Med Internet Res 2020 09 23;22(9):e17880. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Guided cognitive behavioral self-help is a recommended first-line treatment for eating disorders (EDs) such as bulimia nervosa (BN) or binge eating disorder (BED). Online versions of such self-help programs are increasingly being studied in randomized controlled trials (RCTs), with some evidence that they can reduce ED symptoms, although intervention dropout is variable across interventions. However, in-depth research into participants' experiences and views on the acceptability of web-based interventions is limited.

Objective: This is a qualitative process study of participants' experiences of everyBody Plus, a web-based cognitive behavioral intervention, integrated into a large RCT to aid the interpretation of the main trial's results. To our knowledge, this is the first such study in digital intervention for EDs research to include real-time feedback into the qualitative analysis. This study aims to build upon the emerging literature by qualitatively exploring participants' experiences of a web-based intervention for BN and BED.

Methods: Participants were those who took part in the UK arm of a larger RCT investigating the efficacy of the everyBody Plus intervention. Reflexive thematic analysis was completed on 2 sources of data from the online platform: real-time feedback quotes provided at the end of completing a module on the platform (N=104) and semistructured telephone interview transcripts (n=12).

Results: Four main themes were identified. The first theme identified positive and negative user experiences, with a desire for a more customized and personalized intervention. Another theme positively reflected on how flexible and easy the intervention was to embed into daily life, compared with the silo of face-to-face therapy. The third theme identified how the intervention had a holistic impact cognitively, emotionally, interpersonally, and behaviorally. The final theme was related to how the intervention was not a one size fits all and how the perceived usefulness and relevance were often dependent on participants' demographic and clinical characteristics.

Conclusions: Overall, participants reported positive experiences with the use of the everyBody Plus web-based intervention, including flexibility of use and the potential to holistically impact people's lives. The participants also provided valuable suggestions for how similar future web-based interventions could be improved and, in the context of EDs, how programs can be designed to be more inclusive of people by encompassing different demographic and clinical characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/17880DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7542406PMC
September 2020

Interpretation bias modification to reduce body dissatisfaction - a randomized controlled pilot study in women with elevated weight and shape concerns.

J Eat Disord 2020 2;8:34. Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.

Background: Recent research has identified several cognitive biases in patients with eating disorders, such as a tendency to interpret ambiguous information about one's own body in a negative way. The so-called "negative interpretation bias" is considered to be a key factor in maintaining maladaptive cognitions and behaviors in eating disorders. Studies on modification of the negative interpretation bias in eating disorders have yielded mixed results. This randomized controlled pilot study examined whether a specially adapted, computerized version of the Scrambled Sentences Task modifies negative interpretation bias in women with elevated body dissatisfaction.

Methods: The sample consisted of 40 normal-weight women with elevated body dissatisfaction, randomly assigned either to an intervention or a no-intervention control group (each  = 20). The intervention group received six sessions (within two weeks) of a newly-developed interpretation bias modification training that involved unscrambling positively valenced, body image-related sentences. The control group received no intervention. In both groups, body image-related negative interpretation bias (main outcome), trait body dissatisfaction and thin-ideal cue reactivity were assessed at baseline and two weeks later. Additionally, in the intervention condition, the trajectory of expected reductions in the thin-ideal internalization was measured during each training session.

Results: In both conditions, body image-related negative interpretation bias and trait body dissatisfaction decreased significantly from pre- to post-assessment; however, a specific effect imparted by the interpretation bias modification training was not found. Groups did not differ in thin-ideal cue reactivity. In the intervention group, thin-ideal internalization decreased significantly over the training sessions.

Conclusions: The findings do not support use of body image-related interpretation bias modification in its current form in the treatment of body dissatisfaction. Further research involving different versions of the training and clinical samples is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40337-020-00305-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7331132PMC
July 2020

Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) and Approach Bias Modification (ABM) training on food cravings in people taking antipsychotic medication.

Trials 2020 Mar 6;21(1):245. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, SE5 8AF, UK.

Background: Antipsychotic drug-induced weight gain puts individuals with schizophrenia at increased cardiometabolic risk. As a potential intervention for this problem, we describe the theoretical background and a protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial (RCT) of approach bias modification (ABM) training combined with real versus sham (placebo) transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The primary aim of this trial is to obtain information that will guide decision making and protocol development in relation to a future large-scale RCT of ABM and tDCS in this group of participants. Second, the study will assess the preliminary efficacy of ABM + tDCS in reducing food cravings in people who take antipsychotic medication.

Methods: Thirty adults with a DSM-V diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder treated with anti-psychotic medication will be randomly allocated to receive five sessions that will combine ABM and real or sham tDCS, in a parallel group design. In this feasibility study, a broad range of outcome variables will be examined. Measures will include food craving, psychopathology (e.g. symptoms of schizophrenia and depression), neuropsychological processes (such as attentional bias and impulsiveness), and the tolerability and acceptability of tDCS. The feasibility of conducting a large-scale RCT of ABM + tDCS and appropriateness of tDCS as a treatment for antipsychotic drug-induced weight gain will be evaluated by assessment of recruitment and retention rates, acceptability of random allocation, blinding success (allocation concealment), completion of treatment sessions and research assessments (baseline, post-treatment and follow-up).

Discussion: The effect sizes generated and other findings from this trial will inform a future large-scale RCT with respect to decisions on primary outcome measures and other aspects of protocol development. In addition, results from this study will provide a preliminary indication of the efficacy of ABM + tDCS treatment for antipsychotic drug-induced weight gain.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN Registry, ISRCTN13280178. Registered on 16 October 2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13063-020-4112-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059718PMC
March 2020

Combining cognitive bias modification training (CBM) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to treat binge eating disorder: study protocol of a randomised controlled feasibility trial.

BMJ Open 2019 10 22;9(10):e030023. Epub 2019 Oct 22.

Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

Introduction: Binge eating disorder (BED) is a common mental disorder, closely associated with obesity. Existing treatments are only moderately effective with high relapse rates, necessitating novel interventions. This paper describes the rationale for, and protocol of, a feasibility randomised controlled trial (RCT), evaluating the combination of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and a computerised cognitive training, namely approach bias modification training (ABM), in patients with BED who are overweight or obese. The aim of this trial is to obtain information that will guide decision-making and protocol development in relation to a future large-scale RCT of combined tDCS+ABM treatment in this group of patients, and also to assess the preliminary efficacy of this intervention.

Methods And Analysis: 66 participants with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 diagnosis of BED and a body mass index (BMI) of ≥25 kg/m will be randomly allocated to one of three groups: ABM+real tDCS; ABM+sham tDCS or a wait-list control group. Participants in both intervention groups will receive six sessions of ABM+real/sham tDCS over 3 weeks; engaging in the ABM task while simultaneously receiving bilateral tDCS to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. ABM is based on an implicit learning paradigm in which participants are trained to enact an avoidance behaviour in response to visual food cues. Assessments will be conducted at baseline, post-treatment (3 weeks) and follow-up (7 weeks post-randomisation). Feasibility outcomes assess recruitment and retention rates, acceptability of random allocation, blinding success (allocation concealment), completion of treatment sessions and research assessments. Other outcomes include eating disorder psychopathology and related neurocognitive outcomes (ie, delay of gratification and inhibitory control), BMI, other psychopathology (ie, mood), approach bias towards food and surrogate endpoints (ie, food cue reactivity, trait food craving and food intake).

Ethics And Dissemination: This study has been approved by the North West-Liverpool East Research Ethics Committee. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals.

Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN35717198.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6830595PMC
October 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

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

Approach bias modification training in bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder: A pilot randomized controlled trial.

Int J Eat Disord 2019 05 28;52(5):520-529. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Objective: Bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge-eating disorder (BED) are associated with poorly controlled approach behavior toward food resulting in binge eating. Approach bias modification (ABM) may reduce these automatic action tendencies (i.e., approach bias) toward food and may thus decrease binge eating and related symptoms.

Method: A total of 56 patients with BN/BED participated in this double-blind, randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing real and sham ABM. The real ABM condition adopted an implicit learning paradigm in which participants were trained to show avoidance behavior in response to food cues. Participants in the sham condition used a similar task but were not trained to avoid food cues. Both conditions comprised 10 training sessions within 4 weeks.

Results: Participants in both groups experienced significant reductions in binge eating, eating disorder symptoms, trait food craving, and food cue reactivity. Real ABM tended to result in greater reductions in eating disorder symptoms than sham ABM. Food intake, approach bias, and attention bias toward food did not change.

Discussion: This is the first RCT on ABM in eating disorders. The findings provide limited support for the efficacy of ABM in BN/BED and pose questions regarding its active ingredients and its usefulness as a stand-alone treatment for eating disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.23024DOI Listing
May 2019

Physical activity in depressed and non-depressed patients with obesity.

Eat Weight Disord 2018 Apr 10;23(2):195-203. Epub 2017 Feb 10.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Purpose: Obesity and depression have both been shown to be associated with reduced physical activity (PA). However, most studies have not applied objective measures to determine PA in patients. Moreover, to our knowledge, no studies are available comparing depressed and non-depressed patients with regard to PA.

Methods: We investigated PA in 47 patients with both obesity and depression, 70 non-depressed patients with obesity, and 71 non-depressed and non-obese healthy control participants using the SenseWear™ Armband (SWA) with walked steps per day and metabolic equivalents (MET) as parameters for PA.

Results: Depressed as well as non-depressed patients with obesity showed a significantly reduced PA as reflected by walked steps as well as reduced METs. Healthy controls walked a mean of 11,586 ± 3731 (SD) steps per day, whereas non-depressed patients with obesity accumulated 7283 ± 3547 and patients with both obesity and depression recorded only 6177 ± 3291 steps per day. However, the difference between depressed and non-depressed patients with obesity did not reach statistical significance either in terms of walked steps or with regard to METs.

Conclusions: Obesity seems to be associated with a substantial reduction of PA and energy expenditure, whereas the effect of an additional depressive disorder was comparably small. Even though depression did not have any statistically significant effect on steps and METs per day in this study with obese patients, it could be clinically relevant for an individual patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40519-016-0347-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5862930PMC
April 2018
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