Do program helpfulness ratings predict engagement in an online eating disorder intervention?

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentations (poster etc.)Research

Burkhardt Funk - Coauthor

Introduction: One of the greatest challenges of online eating disorder (ED) treatment programs is continuously engaging users. Baseline individual characteristics (e.g., negative affect, ambivalence, body dissatisfaction) are known to predict dropout. However, little is known about in-program content affecting engagement, which is necessary for optimizing these programs and preventing dropout. This study analyzes an online eating disorder intervention designed for college-aged women to determine if users’ perceived helpfulness ratings of the program predict later engagement in the program. Methods: Over the course of two years, 256 users who screened positively for a subclinical or clinical ED were offered access to Student Bodies-Eating Disorders, an online, CBT-based, guided self-help intervention. The program consisted of 40 core sessions and reinforced essential skills such as meal planning, regular eating, and how to identify triggers. Users were asked to complete a check-in survey assessing clinical symptoms and overall program helpfulness every fifth session. Results: On average, users completed 16.4 sessions. 147 users completed a total of 536 helpfulness ratings on a scale of 0-5 (0=not helpful, 5=very helpful). 61% of program helpfulness ratings were at or above 3 (e.g., “moderately helpful”). Across the sample, helpfulness ratings significantly predicted session completion a week later (p=.005). We will also present data on the relationship between ratings and treatment outcomes over the course of the program. Discussion: In this initial analysis, perceived overall helpfulness of the program significantly predicted further engagement. However, assessing the helpfulness of specific techniques and sections of content may provide additional insight into what users find to be most helpful and why users drop out of the program. Future studies should analyze more granular components of online interventions in order to optimize programs, minimize dropout, and improve overall engagement.

weitere Autoren: Rachael E. Flatt ,Neha J. Goel, Shiri Sadeh-Sharvit, Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft, Katherine Balantekin, Marie-Laure Firebaugh, Grace Monterubio, Denise Wilfley, C. Barr Taylor


International Society for Research on Internet Interventions (ISRII) Scientific Meeting 2017: Making e/mHealth Impactful in People’s Lives


Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Event: Other