Telemedicine of family-based treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa: A protocol of a treatment development study.
Journal of Eating Disorders, July 2015
Kristen E Anderson, Catherine Byrne, Alexandria Goodyear, Ryan Reichel, Daniel Le Grange, Kristen E. Anderson
Family-based treatment is an efficacious treatment available for adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Yet the implementation of this treatment, at least in the United States, is challenging due to a limited number of trained family-based treatment therapists and the concentration of these therapists in a limited number of urban centers. The use of telemedicine in the delivery of family-based treatment can increase access to this therapy for this patient population. This two-year treatment development study (December 2013-November 2015) follows a two-wave iterative case series design. The study is ongoing and addresses the treatment needs of families in remote, rural, or underrepresented parts of the United States by delivering family-based treatment via telemedicine (video chat). The first six months of the study was dedicated to selecting a cloud-based secure telemedicine portal for use with participants. Recruitment for the first of two consecutive case series (N = 5) began during month seven. After these five patients completed treatment, a systematic review of treatment via feedback from participants and therapists related to the delivery of this model and use of technology was completed. A second wave of recruitment is underway (N = 5). At the end of both waves (N = 10), and after a second review of treatment, we should be able to establish the feasibility and acceptability of family-based treatment delivered via telemedicine for this patient population. This study is the first attempt to deliver family-based treatment for adolescents with anorexia nervosa via telemedicine. If delivering family-based treatment in this format is feasible, it will provide access to an evidence-based treatment for families heretofore unable to participate in specialist treatment for their child's eating disorder.
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