Binge Eating eTherapy: Implementation of a digital intervention into mental healthcare delivery
Background: Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is the treatment with the strongest evidence for bulimia nervosa (BN), however access to skilled clinicians and the cost of treatment are major barriers to receiving access to care. Consequently, developing new cost-effective and accessible delivery mechanisms is essential to ensure early receipt of evidence-based treatment. Binge Eating eTherapy (BEeT) is an online CBT program, which aims to overcome several barriers associated with traditional face-to-face delivery of psychological treatment. BEeT consists of ten one-hour interactive, multi-media sessions and includes an inbuilt calendar with several self-monitoring tools.
Aims: The current study aims to investigate the effectiveness of BEeT in bringing about a reduction in bulimic symptomology in a sample of individuals with full or sub-threshold BN.
Methods: The presentation will provide an update on a randomised controlled trial (RCT) which is currently in progress and aims to compare the effectiveness of engaging in the BEeT program in a purely independent manner to use of BEeT in conjunction with regular support from a non-specialist to waitlist control. Supported BEeT will be examined across several health settings including an eating disorder outpatient clinic, community mental health team and youth mental health services to explore site-specific outcomes of implementation. The presentation will provide an update on the findings of the RCT, as well as outline the findings from a 4-week pilot of BEeT involving 25 females with BN.
Results: The pilot found significant improvements in several outcomes including objective binge episodes and Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire subscales measuring eating and shape concern. Conference attendees will gain insight into the ways in which evidence-based online treatments can be embedded within a stepped-care model of healthcare delivery.
Conclusions: The study has the capacity to change the treatment landscape for adults with BN across NSW, as it provides new knowledge regarding the real-life application of evidence-based online treatements into mainstream community services.