App-Based Training for Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder

Posted 02/09/2019

This research aims to target binge-eating symptoms among individuals with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder by using a game in the form of a phone app.

What is the purpose of the research?

The purpose of the research is to explore the feasibility of a phone app in targeting binge-eating episodes, and to explore mechanisms that might be involved in this behavioural change. It will do so by exploring the added benefit of the app over treatment as usual.

Who can take part?

The inclusion criteria include:

  • Age 18-60
  • Diagnosis of bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder OR reason to believe one may meet criteria for diagnosis
  • Currently receiving treatment (including therapy and/or medication)
  • BMI above 18.5 
  • Fluency in English
  • No visual impairment that cannot be repaired with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • No ‘severe’ psychiatric comorbidity (e.g. psychosis).
  • No alcohol/drug abuse 

What does the study involve?

Once you get in touch with Rayane Chami (rayane.chami@kcl.ac.uk), you will receive an information sheet with the study details. If you are still interested in taking part, a researcher from the team will get in touch with you to ensure the study would be safe and suitable to you. After this, you will receive a consent form and a link to the first battery of questionnaire (~25 minutes to complete).

After completing the questionnaire, you will be randomised to either the treatment as usual condition or the treatment as usual + training condition.

  • If you are allocated to the treatment as usual group, the researcher will set up a quick phone call with you to let you know.
  • If you are allocated to the treatment as usual + training group, you may choose to meet the researcher via Skype or in person at King’s College London in Denmark Hill for 20-30 minutes to go through the training together and ask any questions relating to it. You will then be asked to complete a 3-min daily food diary and an 8-minute game on your computer ideally every day for 4 weeks.

After the 4 weeks, you will receive a second battery of questionnaires (regardless of the group you are randomly allocated to; ~20 minutes to complete). Once this is done, you will receive a 15-pound bank transfer. Eight weeks after the start of the study, you will receive a follow-up questionnaire (~20 minutes to complete). If you had been allocated to the treatment as usual group, you may choose to receive the training once you have completed the follow-up questionnaire.

One of the questionnaires that you would be asked to complete, would include a question about weight but this question would not be compulsory.

How can someone take part?

The first step is to get in touch with Rayane Chami on Rayane.chami@kcl.ac.uk to express interest. After this, Rayane will introduce herself and send the information sheet with more details. If the individual expresses interest in taking part, a 10-minute phone screening will be set up to assess safety and suitability.

King's College London