US researchers to develop app for treating eating disorders

13 December 2017 | News | By NFS Correspondent

A research team at the University of Kansas is developing a smartphone app for clinical use with patients receiving treatment for an eating disorder.


The app is motivated by a new direction in the field of mental illness called "patient-focused treatment outcomes" research.


Instead of developing new types of treatments, patient-focused treatment outcomes research is designed to improve outcomes by monitoring patient progress and providing feedback directly to therapists to enhance ongoing treatment.


The new app will allow clinicians to track and assess a patient's response to treatment quickly by using computer-adaptive technology (CAT). The app will guide clients through a series of questions drawn from two self-reporting measures: the Eating Pathology Symptoms Inventory (EPSI) and the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms (IDAS).


According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), approximately 20 million women and 10 million men in America will develop an eating disorder at some point in their lives. These include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and a category named "other specified feeding or eating disorder," which includes a variety of unique combinations of symptoms.


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