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A Web-Based Intervention (MotivATE) to Increase Attendance at an Eating Disorder Service Assessment Appointment: Zelen Randomized Controlled Trial.

Denison-Day, J., Muir, S., Newell, C and Appleton, K., 2019. A Web-Based Intervention (MotivATE) to Increase Attendance at an Eating Disorder Service Assessment Appointment: Zelen Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21 (2), e11874.

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DOI: 10.2196/11874


BACKGROUND: Early assessment and treatment of eating disorder patients is important for patient outcomes. However, up to a third of people referred for treatment do not access services and 16.4% do not attend their first scheduled assessment appointment. MotivATE is a fully automated, novel, Web-based program intended to increase motivation to change eating disorder behaviors, designed for delivery at the point of invitation to an eating disorder service, with the aim of increasing service attendance. OBJECTIVE: This paper assesses the impact of MotivATE on attendance at assessment when compared with treatment-as-usual. METHODS: A Zelen randomized controlled design was used. All individuals referred to a specialist eating disorder service, Kimmeridge Court in Dorset, UK, over the course of a year (October 24, 2016-October 23, 2017) were randomized to treatment-as-usual only or treatment-as-usual plus an additional letter offering access to MotivATE. Attendance at the initial scheduled assessment appointment was documented. Logistic regression analysis assessed the impact of MotivATE on attendance at assessment. Additional analyses based on levels of engagement with MotivATE were also undertaken. RESULTS: A total of 313 participants took part: 156 (49.8%) were randomized to treatment-as-usual and 157 (50.2%) were randomized to receive the additional offer to access MotivATE. Intention-to-treat analysis between conditions showed no impact of MotivATE on attendance at assessment (odds ratio [OR] 1.35, 95% CI 0.69-2.66, P=.38). Examination of the usage data indicated that only 53 of 157 participants (33.8%) in the MotivATE condition registered with the Web-based intervention. An analysis comparing those that registered with the intervention with those that did not found greater attendance at assessment in those that had registered (OR 9.46, 95% CI 1.22-73.38, P=.03). CONCLUSIONS: Our primary analyses suggest no impact of MotivATE on attendance at the first scheduled assessment appointment, but secondary analyses revealed limited engagement with the program and improved attendance in those who did engage. It is unclear, however, if engagement with the program increased motivation and, in turn, attendance or if more motivated individuals were more likely to access the intervention. Further research is required to facilitate engagement with Web-based interventions and to understand the full value of MotivATE for users. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02777944; (Archived by WebCite at

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Internet; anorexia nervosa; binge-eating disorder; bulimia nervosa; early medical intervention; eating disorders; feeding disorders; motivation
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:32046
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:13 Mar 2019 09:53
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:15


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