Guided self-help treatment for children and young people with threshold and subthreshold eating disorders: A pilot study protocol

Emily Davey, Rachel Bryant-Waugh, Sophie Bennett, Nadia Micali, Julian Baudinet, Sam Clark-Stone, Roz Shafran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Prompt access to evidence-based treatment for children and young people with eating disorders is important for outcomes, yet the gap in service provision remains pervasive. Record levels of young people are waiting for eating disorder treatment and access to care is limited. Guided self-help interventions that are brief and require minimal clinician support have the potential to meet the unprecedented demand for treatment quickly and effectively.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the feasibility, acceptability and proof of concept of a novel, CBT guided self-help intervention for children and young people with threshold and subthreshold eating disorders.

METHODS: A single-arm, proof-of-concept pilot study of the CBT guided self-help intervention will be conducted. Children and young people (aged 11-19) with threshold and subthreshold eating disorders will receive a self-help intervention covering the core components of CBT, supported by 8 weekly guidance sessions delivered remotely. Clinical outcomes (eating-related psychopathology and associated impairment, changes in weight, depression, anxiety, and behavioural difficulties) will be assessed at baseline and post-intervention (12 weeks). Feasibility and acceptability of the intervention will be measured using various outcomes, including adherence to, and engagement with the intervention, rates of recruitment and retention, measure completion and treatment satisfaction. Qualitative data will also be collected for future intervention refinement.

DISCUSSION: If the intervention is shown to produce clinical benefits in this pilot study, a fully powered randomised pilot study will be warranted with the ultimate goal of increasing access to psychological treatment for children and young people threshold and subthreshold eating disorders.

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION: This study protocol (S1 File) adheres to the guidelines outlined in the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) checklist for trial protocols [1, 2] which can be found in S1 Checklist. The numbers in parentheses in this protocol correspond to the item numbers in the SPIRIT checklist. The order of items has been modified to group similar items.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0301606
Pages (from-to)e0301606
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume19
Issue number4 April
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Adolescent
  • Pilot Projects
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/methods
  • Anxiety
  • Self Care
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders/therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

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