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Table 2 Characteristics of treatment programs applied in included studies

From: Internet-based interventions for eating disorders in adults: a systematic review

Authors Ljotsson et al. [16] Robinson & Serfaty [17] Johnston et al. [15] Carrard et al. [12] Sanchez-Ortiz et al. [19] Fernandez-Aranda et al. [14] Carrard et al. [13] Ruwaard et al. [18]
Type of study/ Randomisation RCT: based on generated random numbers; Stratification procedure was implemented with regard to diagnosis and severity RCT: randomization was based on generated random numbers RCT: No exact description was given RCT: Randomization was based on generated random numbers RCT: based on generated random numbers; Stratification procedure was implemented with regard to diagnosis and recruitment site CT: participants were consecutively assigned to either the treatment group or the control group CT: participants were either offered to take part in the treatment program or asked to participate in the control group during information session for WLT RCT: randomization was based on generated random numbers
Intervention Self- help based on CBT using the Swedish translation of the book “Overcoming Binge Eating” Email therapy based on CBT working on a model of the eating disorder 20 minutes writings on the basis of the Pennebaker task Guided self-help treatment program consisting of 11 modules based on CBT targeting behavioural and psychological aspects of BED guided self-help treatment program “Overcoming Bulimia Online” consisting of eight sessions based on CBT Guided self-help program introducing CBT and psychoeducational concepts in seven sequential stepsc Guided self-help program and consisting of 11 modules based on CBT targeting behavioural and psychological aspects of BED Guided self-help program referring to CBT main principles for treatment of BN
Anonymity No: EDE interview was performed as main assessment Yes: no interview or face-to-face meeting was conducted Yes: no interview or face-to-face meeting was conducted three additional face-to-face evaluations during a year introduction in a face-to-face meeting or as telephone assessment No: two face-to-face evaluations with their coaches during therapy no: three additional face-to-face evaluations Yes: only an interview with a diagnostician
Lengths 12 weeks Three months Three days Six months 8 to 12 weeks Four months Six months 20 weeks
Frequency of contact One to two email contacts per week On average two emails per week were expected No contact at all during therapy Weekly e-mail contact during the intervention phase; monthly e-mail contact during the follow-up period Therapists sent emails once every one to two weeks and responded to any email received Weekly e-mail contact with their coach during intervention phase Therapists sent weekly e-mails and participants had to write at least one email each week to their coaches Treatment includes 25 scheduled therapist feedback moments
Number and diagnosis of participants 73 participants with full or sub-threshold Bulimia Nervosa (BN) or Binge Eating Disorder (BED) diagnosis according to DSM-IV; sub-threshold BN was defined as episodes of binge eating and compensatory behaviour at least twice-monthly for the last three months. BED participants needed to have at least two OBEs per month for the last six months 97 participants suffering from BN (n = 36 purging; n =15 non-purging), BED (n = 26) or EDNOS (n = 20) diagnosis according to DSM-IV 94 participants suffering from BN; Participants were required to score at or above the medium-range cut off for bulimic symptomatology 74 participants suffering from BED (n = 43) or sub-threshold BED (n = 31) diagnosis according to DSM-IV; for sub-threshold BED participants needed to have at least one OBE weekly for the last three months 76 students suffering from BN (n = 39) or EDNOS (n = 37) diagnosis according to DSM-IV; persons suffering from BED were excluded 62 participants suffering from BN purging subtype; diagnosis according to DSM-IV 42 obese participants suffering from BED (n = 21) or sub-threshold BED (n = 21); diagnosis according to DSM-IV; Frequency of binges had to be at least for once a month during the last three months 105 participants suffering from BN symptoms (80% engaged in purging behaviour)
A formal diagnosis of BN was not an inclusion criteria. Participants had to report recurrent binge eating, inappropriate weight-control behaviour and elevated concern with body shape and weight
Women N (%) 69 (97.3%) 93 (95.9%) 71 (75.5%) 74 (100%) 75 (98.7%) 62 (100%) 42 (100%) 104 (99%)
Age of participants M (SD) Intervention Group: 35.5 (11.4) Whole sample: 24.5 (23–25.9) Whole sample: 28.9 (9.8) Whole sample: 36 (11.4) Whole sample: 23.9 (5.69) Whole sample: 23.7 (3.6) Intervention Group: 44.6 (11.4) Online-CBT: 30 (10)
Control group: 33.7 (9.3)       Control group: 41.0 (8.2) Bibliotherapy: 31 (9)
        Waiting list group: 32 (11)
  1. RCT Randomized Controlled Trial, CT Controlled Trial, CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, EDE Eating Disorder Examination, BN Bulimia Nervosa, BED Binge Eating Disorder, EDNOS Eating Disorder Not Other Specified.