Feasibility and acceptability of an online self-help programme for managing eating disorders in health clinics

Sau Fong Leung, Eleanor Filgate

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of an Internet-based self-help programme “Smart Eating” programme for managing eating disorders in an integrative health clinic at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the NHS Tayside Eating Disorders Service in Scotland. Participants was randomised to either an intervention group or a control group in both clinical sites. The intervention group received standard care for eating disorders and used the entire self-help programme whereas the control group received standard care and only had access to the standard education provided in the programme without self-help training. Of 21 participants registered in the programme from Hong Kong and Scotland, 19 participants initiated the programme with most of them completed at least one baseline health assessment (18/19, 94.7%) and learnt healthy eating (14/19, 73.7%). The participants in the intervention group also accessed different components of the programme, such as, learning self-help strategies to improve body image (8/10, 80%) and overcoming eating disorders (4/10, 40%), working through motivational enhancement exercises (3/10, 30%), and identifying strategies for managing anxiety (5/10, 50%), coping with stress (5/10, 50%), overcoming depression (4/10, 40%) and boosting self-esteem (3/10, 30%). The overall participant retention in this study was poor. Among 21 registered participants, those completed their health assessments with the programme were 85.7% (n=18) at baseline, 42.9% (n=9) at 1-month interim period, 23.8% (n=5) at post-intervention after 3 months and 23.8% (n=5) at 3-month follow-up. However, the programme appeared acceptable to some participants who supported that it was a good idea to have online self-help programme alongside usual treatment in their written feedback. Future research would be recommended with a larger sample to identify the efficacy of the programme.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2020
EventVirtual ICED 2020 (ANZAED & AED): Taking a different perspective -
Duration: 11 Jun 202030 Jun 2020


ConferenceVirtual ICED 2020 (ANZAED & AED): Taking a different perspective
Internet address


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