In-person versus virtual therapy in outpatient eating-disorder treatment: A COVID-19 inspired study.
|Title||In-person versus virtual therapy in outpatient eating-disorder treatment: A COVID-19 inspired study.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Steiger H, Booij L, Crescenzi O, Oliverio S, Singer I, Thaler L, St-Hilaire A, Israel M|
|Journal||Int J Eat Disord|
|Date Published||2021 Dec 14|
OBJECTIVE: Findings show virtual therapy (conducted using internet-based videoconferencing techniques) to be a viable alternative to in-person therapy for a variety of mental-health problems. COVID-19 social-distancing imperatives required us to substitute virtual interventions for in-person sessions routinely offered in our outpatient eating disorder (ED) program-and afforded us an opportunity to compare the two treatment formats for clinical efficacy.METHODS: Using self-report assessments, we compared outcomes in a historical sample of 49 adults with heterogeneous EDs (treated in-person over 10-14 weeks in individual and group therapies) to those of 76 patients receiving comparable virtual treatments, at distance, during the COVID-19 outbreak. Linear mixed models were used to study symptom changes over time and to test for differential effects of treatment modality.RESULTS: Participants in both groups showed similar improvements on eating symptoms, levels of weight gain (in individuals in whom gain was indicated), and satisfaction with services.DISCUSSION: Our results suggest that short-term clinical outcomes with virtual and in-person ED therapies are comparable, and point to potentials of virtual therapy for situations in which geographical distance or other barriers impede physical access to trained therapists or specialized treatments.
|Alternate Journal||Int J Eat Disord|
|Grant List||MOP-142717 / / Canadian Institutes for Health Research / |
391362 / / Canadian Institutes for Health Research /