Current Studies

Eating disorders are extremely complex in cause as well as in the medical and psychological consequences that can ensue. Although the field has come a long way in recent years, we still have a lot to learn about how best to successfully prevent and treat these disorders in all patients. UCSF is known internationally for the expertise of its faculty in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Our goal is to conduct research that will inform the design and dissemination of more effective prevention and treatment so we can bring better care to more individuals who either have an eating disorder or who are at risk for developing eating disorders.

Ongoing research studies include:

 

StRONG: The Study of Refeeding to Optimize iNpatient Gains 

ANDREA GARBER, PHD, RD

The Study of Refeeding to Optimize iNpatient Gains is a prospective randomized controlled trial examining two different diets for nutritional rehabilitation during hospitalization, among patients 12 to 24 years old. Unlike previous studies in this area of research, participants will be followed for one year after leaving the hospital. The purpose is to study the relationship between dietary style of refeeding during hospitalization and the rate of recovery and relapse in the outpatient setting. Safety, efficacy, and cost effectiveness will all be taken into account. Patients who are hospitalized may choose to participate in this study without changing any aspect of their care plan except for participation in additional assessment procedures such as completion of psychological questionnaires, interviews, and five brief follow-up study visits over the course of a year, which may be coordinated with standard outpatient visits. 

 

Online Training in Family Based Therapy

Stanford University and University of California, San Francisco are conducting a study funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health to examine an enhanced form of online training in Family Based Treatment for adolescents with anorexia nervosa.

For more information about this study, please go to: http://online-training-in-family-based-therapy.launchrock.com/

Learn more about the training under investigation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFF5fDIlACo&feature=youtu.be

 

Family-Based Treatment Without Borders

KRISTEN ANDERSON, LCSW AND DANIEL LE GRANGE, PHD 

The University of Chicago Eating Disorders clinic was recently awarded a NEDA grant for a study entitled, “Family-Based Treatment Without Borders.” This study aims to address families’ need for evidence-based treatment for adolescent anorexia in remote and rural parts of the U.S. by assessing feasibility of conducting FBT via telemedicine. 

 

Treatment of Bulimic Adolescents Study

DANIEL LE GRANGE, PHD

The purpose of this study is to attempt to identify an outpatient psychological treatment that is effective for adolescents with BN.         

 

Help Us Improve the Maudsley Approach for Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa

DANIEL LE GRANGE, PHD

The University of Chicago is conducting a research study to further develop outpatient psychological treatments for adolescents suffering from anorexia nervosa. For more information about this study, please go to: 

 

ED Parent Support Project

DANIEL LE GRANGE, PHD

The purpose of this study is to examine the emotional impact of administering family-based treatment and to determine whether a therapist-guided, internet-based chat support group for parents who are implementing family-based treatment would be helpful. For more information about this study, please go to: http://www.edparentsupport.net/website/projectinfo.php

 

Optimizing Fidelity in Family-Based treatment for Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa

DANIEL LE GRANGE, PHD

We are currently conducting a research study that involves coding audio-recorded sessions of family-based treatment for anorexia nervosa to examine therapists' adherence to the family-based treatment manual. This study aims to optimize the efficacy of family-based treatment.  For more information about this study, please go to: https://psychiatry.uchicago.edu/page/optimizing-fidelity-family-based-treatment-adolescent-anorexia-nervosa

 

The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Australia

LIBBY HUGHES PHD, SUSAN SAWYER, MD, AND DANIEL LE GRANGE, PHD 

We are currently conducting a research study to compare two forms of family-based treatment for anorexia nervosa. Adolescents aged 12-18 with anorexia nervosa can take part in the trial. Patients and parents will undergo a diagnostic assessment and receive 6 months of outpatient treatment. Progress will be monitored during and after treatment. For more information about this study, please go to: http://www.rch.org.au/cah/health_services/Eating_Disorders_Program/

 

The National Eating Disorder Quality Improvement Collaborative

The National Eating Disorder Quality Improvement Collaborative is a national collaborative of Adolescent Medicine sites that provide care to patients with eating disorders. The initial goal of this collaboration was to collect and pool outcome data in order to compare effectiveness of different programs in the context of available services. The belief was that this would help to explain which program-specific factors led to improved outcomes. UCSF participated in this initial work and has remained a part of this collaborative as it broadens and expands its research scope.

 

Study of Hospitalized Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa (SHAAN)

ANDREA GARBER, PHD, RD

Weight gain during hospitalization predicts better outcomes for patients with Anorexia Nervosa.  However, weight gain is difficult to achieve and little is known about optimal diets to safely maximize nutritional recovery. The SHAAN study is a prospective examination of refeeding during hospitalization among patients 9 to 20 years old. The purpose is to study the relation between diet and weight change, so that better nutritional approaches can be developed. Patients who are hospitalized may choose to participate in this study without changing any aspect of their care plan except for participation in several additional assessment procedures such as completion of psychological questionnaires, a bone scan, and echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart).