Confirming the Effectiveness of Online Guided Self-Help Family-Based Treatment for Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa


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Trial ID: NCT05563649


With an incidence rate of about 1%, Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a serious mental disorder associated with high mortality, morbidity, and cost. AN in youth is more responsive to early treatment but becomes highly resistant once it has taken an enduring course. The first-line treatment for adolescents with AN is Family Based Treatment (FBT). While FBT can be delivered using videoconferencing (FBT-V), therapists' limited availability hampers scalability. Guided self-help (GSH) versions of efficacious treatments have been used to scale and increase access to care. The main aim of this proposed comparative effectiveness study is to confirm that clinical improvements in GSH-FBT are achieved with greater efficiency than FBT-V in generalizable clinical settings.

Official Title

Confirming the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Online Guided Self-Help Family-Based Treatment for Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa

Stanford Investigator(s)

James Lock
James Lock

Eric Rothenberg, MD Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of Pediatrics

Brittany Elizabeth Matheson, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Inclusion Criteria:

1. Participants are 12-18 years of age
2. Participants live with a family (some families may contain only one parent)
3. Family members fluently speak and read English and have access to a computer with internet
4. Participants meet DSM-5 criteria for AN (both subtypes)
5. EBW above 75%
6. Participants are medically stable for outpatient treatment according to the recommended thresholds of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society of Adolescent Medicine
7. Participants are not engaged in another individual or family-based psychotherapy trial during the duration of treatment sessions in the study.
8. Medications for comorbid psychiatric disorders are OK; randomization will balance groups through tracking.

Exclusion Criteria:

Current psychotic illness or intellectual disability or other mental illnesses that would prohibit the use of psychotherapy; current dependence on drugs or alcohol; physical conditions (e.g. diabetes mellitus, pregnancy) known to influence eating or weight; previous FBT; and inability of the participant and/or family to speak and understand English.


behavioral: Online Guided Self-Help-Family-based Treatment

behavioral: FBT via Videoconferencing


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Contact Information

Stanford University
School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
Hazal Y Gurcan, B.A.