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Table 3 Control group characteristics, Outcome measures, time points of assessment, dropout and abstinence rates of 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]
Control group Waiting list (n = 36) with assessment at mid-treatment and short weekly reports on eating behaviour Unsupported self directed writing (n = 34). Waiting list control (n = 27) Superficial writing control group (n = 46) Waiting list control group (n = 37) with monthly email contact during waiting period Waiting list control group (n = 38) Waiting list (n = 31) for 12 weeks keeping a food diary, recording binge eating and purging episodes Waiting list control group (n = 20), waiting for a weight loss treatment Waiting list control group (n = 35). Bibliotherapy (n = 35)
EDI-2    EDI-2   BITE   
      Food Diary   
Assessments Pre-treatment Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Post-treatment Post-treatment Four weeks follow-up Post-treatment Post-treatment Post-treatment Post-tretament Post-tretament
Six month follow-up   Eight weeks follow-up Six month follow-up Three month follow-up   Six month follow-up 12 month follow-up
Treatment dropout 31.4% 47.2% 16.7% 24.3% 21.1% 45.0% 9% 25.7%
Study dropout 2.9% 37.1% 14.9% 17.6% 11.8% n.a. 4.8% 21.0%
Definition of abstinence no episodes of binge eating or purging during the 28 days prior to the post-treatment assessment Criteria for an eating disorder are no longer fulfilled Participants not falling within the clinical range of the BITE total score Abstinence from OBEs as measured by the EDE-Q for the last 28 days Lack of vomiting and laxative abuse abstinence from OBEs over a month long period Abstinence of binges and vomits: no information about duration available No binge episode over the last three months No binge or purging episode over the last 28 days according to EDE-Q
Rate of abstinence (Intervention group) 37% 23.5% 23.7% (at baseline) to 35% (at 8 week follow-up) 35.1% 25.8% 22.6% 45% Bingeing: 57% (at baseline) to 94% at post-treatment
Purging: 60% (at baseline) to 100% at post-treatment
Rate of abstinence (Control group) 15% 0.0% n.a. 8.1% 13.9% 0% 15% Bingeing: 77% (at baseline) to 86% at post-treatment
Purging: 83% (at baseline) to 89% at post-treatment
  1. EDE-Q Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire, EDE Eating Disorder Examination, EDI-2 Eating Disorder Inventory - 2, BITE Bulimia Investigatory Test Edinburgh.
  2. OBE Objectivte Binge Episodes as assessed with the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire or the Eating Disorder Examination Interview.