David Earl Johnson, LICSW

5 minute read

I’m very excited about a new venture I’m hosting at ePsyQ.com. I’ve had an interest in research for a long time, but my work in direct practice and management always came first. Now I’ve found a passion for online building, and frankly find it far more entertaining than television. My interest was piqued by an article from NIMH I tripped over a couple weeks ago.

A long-term, large-scale study has found that an Internet-based intervention program may prevent some high risk, college-age women from developing an eating disorder. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), was published in the August 2006 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The researchers conducted a randomized, controlled trial of 480 college-age women in the San Francisco Bay area and San Diego, Calif., who were identified in preliminary interviews as being at risk for developing an eating disorder. The trial included an eight-week, Internet-based, cognitive-behavioral intervention program called “Student Bodies,” which had been shown to be effective in previous small-scale short-term studies. The intervention aimed to reduce the participants’ concerns about body weight and shape, enhance body image, promote healthy eating and weight maintenance, and increase knowledge about the risks associated with eating disorders. The online program included reading and other assignments such as keeping an online body-image journal. Participants also took part in an online discussion group, moderated by clinical psychologists. Participants were interviewed immediately following the end of the online program, and annually for up to three years thereafter to determine their attitudes toward their weight and shape, and measure the onset of any eating disorders. What an exciting prospect, therapeutic value in online education and support! There was now some concrete hope that most people who don’t have access to health care, could seek out the information and support they need to contain a budding issue. Perhaps we finally have a media to provide the dream of “primary prevention“. The gears in my head have been turning ever since. The past week has been a flurry of activity building the site and developing ideas. It’s finally time to roll out the idea and look for support and input from the online health community. [ePsyQ.com Professional Health Services Directory][4] is a community of healthcare providers dedicated to developing the service and research potential of the Internet. [I’m very excited about a new venture I’m hosting at ePsyQ.com. I’ve had an interest in research for a long time, but my work in direct practice and management always came first. Now I’ve found a passion for online building, and frankly find it far more entertaining than television. My interest was piqued by an article from NIMH I tripped over a couple weeks ago.

A long-term, large-scale study has found that an Internet-based intervention program may prevent some high risk, college-age women from developing an eating disorder. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), was published in the August 2006 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The researchers conducted a randomized, controlled trial of 480 college-age women in the San Francisco Bay area and San Diego, Calif., who were identified in preliminary interviews as being at risk for developing an eating disorder. The trial included an eight-week, Internet-based, cognitive-behavioral intervention program called “Student Bodies,” which had been shown to be effective in previous small-scale short-term studies. The intervention aimed to reduce the participants’ concerns about body weight and shape, enhance body image, promote healthy eating and weight maintenance, and increase knowledge about the risks associated with eating disorders. The online program included reading and other assignments such as keeping an online body-image journal. Participants also took part in an online discussion group, moderated by clinical psychologists. Participants were interviewed immediately following the end of the online program, and annually for up to three years thereafter to determine their attitudes toward their weight and shape, and measure the onset of any eating disorders.

What an exciting prospect, therapeutic value in online education and support! There was now some concrete hope that most people who don’t have access to health care, could seek out the information and support they need to contain a budding issue. Perhaps we finally have a media to provide the dream of “primary prevention“. The gears in my head have been turning ever since. The past week has been a flurry of activity building the site and developing ideas. It’s finally time to roll out the idea and look for support and input from the online health community. [ePsyQ.com Professional Mental Health Services Directory][4] is a community of mental health care providers dedicated to developing the service and research potential of the Internet.]5 provides a base of operations for web based research and services in the healthcare sciences. Here is the idea. ePsyQ.com intends to drive healthcare providers to the site by providing basic web based services such as health news, top site ranking for healthcare sites, to generate interest in both participating in web based services and research, as well as referring clients for participation as subjects. The user may participate in any combination of services offered. The services on this site are moderated. If you wish to join this effort, let us know. Please click “Contact Us“.

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