Targeting treatment for eating disorders

Flinders psychologists are calling for participants in a new study that compares two brief Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) interventions for eating disorders.

Eating disorders are a group of psychiatric disorders that involve a poor body image, abnormal eating behaviours, overemphasis on the importance of weight and shape, and the use of extreme weight control behaviours.

Eating disorders are highly complex mental illnesses that also involve significant physical impairment and medical complications.

They are often severe and debilitating, affect predominantly young women, and have significant consequences for physical health and quality of life.

The aim of this research study is to compare a new treatment called Intensive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Guided Self-Help CBT for eating disorders.

Because intensive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is new, the researchers hope to learn more about how well it works and who it works best for.

Findings from the study will be used to better address the symptoms of disordered eating, such as binge eating, purging, fasting, and a preoccupation with weight and shape.

The study will be running for approximately one year and is being supervised by Professor Tracey Wade from Flinders University Services for Eating Disorders (FUSED).

There is no charge or remuneration to participants.

Participation involves being assessed on five occasions and each assessment will take around one and a half hours.

Both courses of treatment will involve attending weekly face-to-face sessions of one hour duration for 10 weeks.

All treatment sessions will be held in a private therapy room at Flinders University.

The study hopes to attract approximately 150 participants.

“Results from international research in this area have shown that both Intensive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Guided Self-Help CBT have promising results,” says PhD Candidate Mia Pellizzer, the facilitator of the study.

“The purpose of our study is to find out which approach suits what type of person best.”

Mia Pellizzer would like to hear from potential participants who are over 15 years of age, are experiencing problems with disordered eating, and who live in the metropolitan Adelaide region.

More information is available from Flinders University Services for Eating Disorders, phone 8201 7920 or email

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