Purpose of review- Internet prevention of eating disorders is a relatively new field that is expanding rapidly. We review randomized controlled trial designs examining the efficacy of Internet prevention in eating disorders that have emerged from 2016.
Recent findings- Our literature search identified five studies that used randomized controlled trial designs to examine the efficacy of Internet prevention in eating disorders. All of the studies represented indicated prevention, that is, young women who have body image concerns. Three specific approaches were examined: media literacy, cognitive dissonance, and cognitive behavior therapy. All studies indicated significantly more impact of the intervention than a control condition, with between group effect sizes at follow-up ranging from 0.24 to 0.42.
Summary- Although Internet interventions for eating disorders may be less effective than face-to-face interventions, and attrition increases when populations are used that reflect real-world usage, these interventions have an important role in a stepped-care approach. Future research should make direct comparisons of different Internet programs with a view to helping us understand who will gain most benefit out of which approach, including who requires moderated Internet approaches and who does not.
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Cognitive dissonance
- Eating disorders
- Internet prevention
- Media literacy