Introducing a Smart Toy in Eating Disorder Treatment: A Pilot Study

Dimitri Chubinidze, Zhuo Li, Petr Slovak, Julian Baudinet, Emmanuelle Dufour, Kate Tchanturia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Individuals with eating disorders (EDs) often encounter challenges related to body image, emotional, and sensory difficulties during nutritional rehabilitation. To address these challenges, a novel technology-enabled smart toy, Purrble, designed for immediate assistance in emotion regulation, is being explored. A mixed-method approach involving workshops, diaries, and focus groups was employed to examine the feasibility of Purrble as a therapeutic tool and its impact on participants’ daily routines, sensory experiences, and emotional states. The study results demonstrate the engagement and acceptability of this device. Qualitative analysis revealed that participants independently used and integrated Purrble into their emotional and sensory regulation practices. These pilot results support the potential for a shift in the delivery of adjunct therapeutic tools through technology, particularly for ED patients with complex presentations. Future research is necessary to further explore the psychological benefits of this intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Article number467
JournalNutrients
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Eating disorder
  • anorexia nervosa
  • autism
  • emotion regulation
  • sensory sensitivity
  • technology-enabled interventions

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