Using Technology to Help People with Eating Disorders
Treatments for eating disorders, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, work for many people, they do not work for everyone, and they do not allow for intervention in real-time—often requiring instead that people wait for scheduled appointments to speak to a clinician. In addition, many people do not have easy access to a clinician who can provide evidence-based eating disorder treatment.
Having the ability to predict binge and purge episodes and intervene in real-time before they occur would support the development and scalability of treatments for binge-eating disorder and bulimia nervosa. A study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), spearheaded by Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina. The data will be collected over 30 days from more than 1,000 individuals with binge-eating disorder or bulimia nervosa. The analysis team, led by Jonathan Butner, Ph.D., of the University of Utah, will then model the data to see if they can identify stable, low-risk, and high-risk patterns that signal impending binge or purge episodes.