Effectiveness of a chatbot for eating disorders prevention: A randomized clinical trial

Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft, William W. Chan, Arielle C. Smith, Marie Laure Firebaugh, Lauren A. Fowler, Naira Topooco, Bianca DePietro, Denise E. Wilfley, C. Barr Taylor, Nicholas C. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Prevention of eating disorders (EDs) is of high importance. However, digital programs with human moderation are unlikely to be disseminated widely. The aim of this study was to test whether a chatbot (i.e., computer program simulating human conversation) would significantly reduce ED risk factors (i.e., weight/shape concerns, thin-ideal internalization) in women at high risk for an ED, compared to waitlist control, as well as whether it would significantly reduce overall ED psychopathology, depression, and anxiety and prevent ED onset. Method: Women who screened as high risk for an ED were randomized (N = 700) to (1) chatbot based on the StudentBodies

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-353
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume55
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • chatbot
  • conversational agent
  • depression
  • feeding and eating disorders
  • female
  • follow-up studies
  • humans
  • psychopathology
  • risk factors

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