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The next chapter in eating disorder prevention? Findings from a randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based intervention aimed at reducing risk for disordered eating

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The primary objective of this study was to evaluate a mindfulness-based prevention program against an established dissonance program with regard to reducing risk for disordered eating. Adolescent girls (N = 379, Mean age = 15.70, SD = 0.77) from four high schools were randomly allocated by class to receive either a mindfulness or dissonance-based program, delivered universally, or lessons as normal (assessment-only control). Standardised measures of eating disorder behaviours and related risk factors were completed at baseline, post-program, 1-month and 6-month follow-up. Controlling for baseline, results showed significant group differences over time for weight concerns (F (6, 663) = 3.74, p = .001), with both mindfulness and dissonance groups showing a greater reduction than control. No other variables demonstrated significant interactions, however main effects of time for dietary restraint, mindfulness, self-compassion, emotion dysregulation, negative affect, escape-avoidant coping, and media internalisation indicated overall improvement across groups. Improvements evident within the control group may suggest the presence of cross-contamination between classes or an impact of assessment. Further analysis is required to account for significant missing data across time points; however, these preliminary findings validate continued evaluation of mindfulness in this context.

This abstract was presented in the Prevention stream of the 2013 ANZAED Conference.

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Correspondence to Melissa Atkinson.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Atkinson, M., Wade, T. The next chapter in eating disorder prevention? Findings from a randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based intervention aimed at reducing risk for disordered eating. J Eat Disord 1, O34 (2013) doi:10.1186/2050-2974-1-S1-O34

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Keywords

  • Negative Affect
  • Prevention Program
  • Disorder Behaviour
  • Eating Disorder
  • Adolescent Girl