Parent and clinician perspectives on virtual guided self-help family-based treatment (GSH-FBT) for adolescents with anorexia nervosa Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: Guided self-help (GSH) treatments have the capacity to expand access to care, decrease costs, and increase dissemination compared to traditional therapist-directed treatment approaches. However, little is known about parent and clinician perspectives about the acceptability of GSH for adolescents with eating disorders. METHODS: This study utilized a mixed methods approach to obtain qualitative and quantitative data regarding clinician and participants' experiences with GSH. Parent participants were enrolled in a randomized trial comparing GSH family-based treatment (GSH-FBT) to family-based treatment delivered via videoconferencing (FBT-V) for adolescents (12-18¬†years old) with a DSM-5 diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (AN). Parent participants provided qualitative feedback using the Helping Alliances Questionnaire about their experience of treatment. Clinician participants were six master's or PhD-level therapists. These clinicians were trained in and provided both treatments (GSH-FBT and FBT-V). They provided responses to questionnaires and participated in a 1-h focus group about their experience as treatment providers. RESULTS: Regardless of treatment condition, parents listed more improvement than worsening of symptoms in their child with AN. Clinicians reported lower scores on competency and comfort metrics with GSH-FBT compared to FBT-V. Qualitatively, clinicians reported both advantages and disadvantages of delivering GSH-FBT. CONCLUSION: Further studies are needed to better understand how GSH interventions can be disseminated to patients and families, particularly those with limited access to specialized eating disorder treatment centers. Level of evidence Level I, data collected as part of a randomized controlled trial.


  • Matheson, Brittany E
  • Datta, Nandini
  • Welch, Hannah
  • Citron, Kyra
  • Couturier, Jennifer
  • Lock, James D

publication date

  • October 2022