Web-Based Treatment Program Using Intensive Therapeutic Contact for Patients With Eating Disorders: Before-After Study

E.D. ter Huurne, Marloes Gerda Postel, H.A. de Haan, Constance H.C. Drossaert, C.A.J. Jong

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Abstract

Background: Although eating disorders are common in the Netherlands, only a few patients are treated by mental health care professionals. To reach and treat more patients with eating disorders, Tactus Addiction Treatment developed a web-based treatment program with asynchronous and intensive personalized communication between the patient and the therapist.

Objective: This pilot study evaluated the web-based treatment program using intensive therapeutic contact in a population of 165 patients with an eating disorder.

Methods: In a pre-post design with 6-week and 6-month follow-ups, eating disorder psychopathology, body dissatisfaction, Body Mass Index, physical and mental health, and quality of life were measured. The participant’s satisfaction with the web-based treatment program was also studied. Attrition data were collected, and participants were classified as noncompleters if they didnot complete all 10 assignments of the web-based treatment program. Differences in baseline characteristics between completers and noncompleters were studied, as well as reasons for noncompletion. Furthermore, differences in treatment effectiveness, treatment adherence, and baseline characteristics between participants of the three major eating disorder diagnostic groups EDNOS (n=115), BN purging (n=24), and BN nonpurging (n=24) were measured.

Results: Of the 165 participants who started the web-based treatment program, 89 participants (54%) completed all of the program assignments (completers) and 76 participants (46%) ended the program prematurely (noncompleters). Severe body dissatisfaction and physical and mental health problems seemed to have a negative impact on the completion of the web-based treatment program. Among the participants who completed the treatment program, significant improvements were found in eating disorder psychopathology (F=54.6, df = 68, P<.001, d=1.14). Body dissatisfaction, quality of life, and physical and mental health also significantly improved, and almost all of these positive effects were sustained up to 6 months after the participants had completed the web-based treatment program. Body Mass Index improved only within the group of participants suffering from obesity. The improvement in eating disorder psychopathology occurred in all three eating disorder diagnostic groups, and the percentage of completers did not differ significantly between these groups. Participants’ satisfaction with the treatment program, as well as with their therapist, was high, and participants indicated that they would recommend the program to other patients with eating disorders.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the web-based treatment program has the potential to improve eating disorder psychopathology in patients with different types of eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of medical internet research
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Psychopathology
Therapeutics
Mental Health
Feeding and Eating Disorders
Body Mass Index
Quality of Life
Netherlands
Obesity
Communication
Delivery of Health Care
Population

Keywords

  • IR-84389
  • METIS-294792

Cite this

@article{2e7fec58964349db866a4953425d68f4,
title = "Web-Based Treatment Program Using Intensive Therapeutic Contact for Patients With Eating Disorders: Before-After Study",
abstract = "Background: Although eating disorders are common in the Netherlands, only a few patients are treated by mental health care professionals. To reach and treat more patients with eating disorders, Tactus Addiction Treatment developed a web-based treatment program with asynchronous and intensive personalized communication between the patient and the therapist.Objective: This pilot study evaluated the web-based treatment program using intensive therapeutic contact in a population of 165 patients with an eating disorder.Methods: In a pre-post design with 6-week and 6-month follow-ups, eating disorder psychopathology, body dissatisfaction, Body Mass Index, physical and mental health, and quality of life were measured. The participant’s satisfaction with the web-based treatment program was also studied. Attrition data were collected, and participants were classified as noncompleters if they didnot complete all 10 assignments of the web-based treatment program. Differences in baseline characteristics between completers and noncompleters were studied, as well as reasons for noncompletion. Furthermore, differences in treatment effectiveness, treatment adherence, and baseline characteristics between participants of the three major eating disorder diagnostic groups EDNOS (n=115), BN purging (n=24), and BN nonpurging (n=24) were measured.Results: Of the 165 participants who started the web-based treatment program, 89 participants (54{\%}) completed all of the program assignments (completers) and 76 participants (46{\%}) ended the program prematurely (noncompleters). Severe body dissatisfaction and physical and mental health problems seemed to have a negative impact on the completion of the web-based treatment program. Among the participants who completed the treatment program, significant improvements were found in eating disorder psychopathology (F=54.6, df = 68, P<.001, d=1.14). Body dissatisfaction, quality of life, and physical and mental health also significantly improved, and almost all of these positive effects were sustained up to 6 months after the participants had completed the web-based treatment program. Body Mass Index improved only within the group of participants suffering from obesity. The improvement in eating disorder psychopathology occurred in all three eating disorder diagnostic groups, and the percentage of completers did not differ significantly between these groups. Participants’ satisfaction with the treatment program, as well as with their therapist, was high, and participants indicated that they would recommend the program to other patients with eating disorders.Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the web-based treatment program has the potential to improve eating disorder psychopathology in patients with different types of eating disorders.",
keywords = "IR-84389, METIS-294792",
author = "{ter Huurne}, E.D. and Postel, {Marloes Gerda} and {de Haan}, H.A. and Drossaert, {Constance H.C.} and C.A.J. Jong",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.2196/jmir.2211",
language = "English",
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Web-Based Treatment Program Using Intensive Therapeutic Contact for Patients With Eating Disorders : Before-After Study. / ter Huurne, E.D.; Postel, Marloes Gerda; de Haan, H.A.; Drossaert, Constance H.C.; Jong, C.A.J.

In: Journal of medical internet research, Vol. 15, No. 2, e12, 2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Web-Based Treatment Program Using Intensive Therapeutic Contact for Patients With Eating Disorders

T2 - Before-After Study

AU - ter Huurne, E.D.

AU - Postel, Marloes Gerda

AU - de Haan, H.A.

AU - Drossaert, Constance H.C.

AU - Jong, C.A.J.

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Background: Although eating disorders are common in the Netherlands, only a few patients are treated by mental health care professionals. To reach and treat more patients with eating disorders, Tactus Addiction Treatment developed a web-based treatment program with asynchronous and intensive personalized communication between the patient and the therapist.Objective: This pilot study evaluated the web-based treatment program using intensive therapeutic contact in a population of 165 patients with an eating disorder.Methods: In a pre-post design with 6-week and 6-month follow-ups, eating disorder psychopathology, body dissatisfaction, Body Mass Index, physical and mental health, and quality of life were measured. The participant’s satisfaction with the web-based treatment program was also studied. Attrition data were collected, and participants were classified as noncompleters if they didnot complete all 10 assignments of the web-based treatment program. Differences in baseline characteristics between completers and noncompleters were studied, as well as reasons for noncompletion. Furthermore, differences in treatment effectiveness, treatment adherence, and baseline characteristics between participants of the three major eating disorder diagnostic groups EDNOS (n=115), BN purging (n=24), and BN nonpurging (n=24) were measured.Results: Of the 165 participants who started the web-based treatment program, 89 participants (54%) completed all of the program assignments (completers) and 76 participants (46%) ended the program prematurely (noncompleters). Severe body dissatisfaction and physical and mental health problems seemed to have a negative impact on the completion of the web-based treatment program. Among the participants who completed the treatment program, significant improvements were found in eating disorder psychopathology (F=54.6, df = 68, P<.001, d=1.14). Body dissatisfaction, quality of life, and physical and mental health also significantly improved, and almost all of these positive effects were sustained up to 6 months after the participants had completed the web-based treatment program. Body Mass Index improved only within the group of participants suffering from obesity. The improvement in eating disorder psychopathology occurred in all three eating disorder diagnostic groups, and the percentage of completers did not differ significantly between these groups. Participants’ satisfaction with the treatment program, as well as with their therapist, was high, and participants indicated that they would recommend the program to other patients with eating disorders.Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the web-based treatment program has the potential to improve eating disorder psychopathology in patients with different types of eating disorders.

AB - Background: Although eating disorders are common in the Netherlands, only a few patients are treated by mental health care professionals. To reach and treat more patients with eating disorders, Tactus Addiction Treatment developed a web-based treatment program with asynchronous and intensive personalized communication between the patient and the therapist.Objective: This pilot study evaluated the web-based treatment program using intensive therapeutic contact in a population of 165 patients with an eating disorder.Methods: In a pre-post design with 6-week and 6-month follow-ups, eating disorder psychopathology, body dissatisfaction, Body Mass Index, physical and mental health, and quality of life were measured. The participant’s satisfaction with the web-based treatment program was also studied. Attrition data were collected, and participants were classified as noncompleters if they didnot complete all 10 assignments of the web-based treatment program. Differences in baseline characteristics between completers and noncompleters were studied, as well as reasons for noncompletion. Furthermore, differences in treatment effectiveness, treatment adherence, and baseline characteristics between participants of the three major eating disorder diagnostic groups EDNOS (n=115), BN purging (n=24), and BN nonpurging (n=24) were measured.Results: Of the 165 participants who started the web-based treatment program, 89 participants (54%) completed all of the program assignments (completers) and 76 participants (46%) ended the program prematurely (noncompleters). Severe body dissatisfaction and physical and mental health problems seemed to have a negative impact on the completion of the web-based treatment program. Among the participants who completed the treatment program, significant improvements were found in eating disorder psychopathology (F=54.6, df = 68, P<.001, d=1.14). Body dissatisfaction, quality of life, and physical and mental health also significantly improved, and almost all of these positive effects were sustained up to 6 months after the participants had completed the web-based treatment program. Body Mass Index improved only within the group of participants suffering from obesity. The improvement in eating disorder psychopathology occurred in all three eating disorder diagnostic groups, and the percentage of completers did not differ significantly between these groups. Participants’ satisfaction with the treatment program, as well as with their therapist, was high, and participants indicated that they would recommend the program to other patients with eating disorders.Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the web-based treatment program has the potential to improve eating disorder psychopathology in patients with different types of eating disorders.

KW - IR-84389

KW - METIS-294792

U2 - 10.2196/jmir.2211

DO - 10.2196/jmir.2211

M3 - Article

VL - 15

JO - Journal of medical internet research

JF - Journal of medical internet research

SN - 1439-4456

IS - 2

M1 - e12

ER -