Philadelphia, PA — Drexel University’s Center for Weight, Eating, and Lifestyle Science is now recruiting volunteers to participate in a clinical trial testing the effectiveness of Mindfulness and Acceptance-Based Behavioral Treatment for binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa. A study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health,(the COMPASS Project) aims to examine whether incorporating new psychological strategies (e.g., mindful awareness, distress tolerance, emotion modulation, values-based decision making) into existing eating disorder treatments will enhance therapeutic outcomes. The COMPASS Project is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Eating disorders are commonly underdiagnosed in the Black community (Taylor et al., 2007)., despite the high prevalence of binge eating when compared to non-Hispanic White populations. For instance, recent studies have found that Black women experience higher rates of binge eating, with the prevalence rates of this behavior being nearly 5% compared to 2.5% in Non-Hispanic White women (Goode et al., 2018b; Marques et al., 2011). Furthermore, the prevalence of binge eating in women with obesity is even higher. Estimates indicate that more than 30% of Black women with obesity also report engaging in binge eating (Wilson et al., 2012). However, less than 8% of Black women with binge eating disorder sought treatment compared to 22% of white women with binge eating disorder.
Binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa symptoms have an enormous impact on an individuals’ quality of life. The worries about weight gain, preoccupation with food, engagement in bingeing and purging behavior, and the money spent on binge foods can all cause considerable distress. Additionally, binge eating and compensatory behaviors (e.g., self-induced vomiting, laxative misuse, diuretic misuse, fasting, driven exercise), are associated with numerous comorbid health consequences, including severe obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Therefore, it is extremely important to develop effective treatments for binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa to improve the quality of life of those who experience these eating disorders.
The study offers volunteers gold standard treatment for binge eating at no cost. Engagement in the treatment study is particularly valuable for the community, as feedback from members of the community will allow for improvement in treatment approaches for eating disorders among Black Americans.
Volunteers for The COMPASS Project must be between 18 to 70 years old and experience regular binge eating episodes. The study includes 16 weekly one-on-one therapy sessions with a therapist as well as research assessments before, during, and after treatment, including a 6-month and 12-month follow-up assessment. Volunteers also have the opportunity to earn up to $500 for participating in this clinical trial and completing research assessments. Lastly, the study is a great opportunity to get involved in eating disorder research (whether that be to learn more about your own health or be able to be there for a loved one) without subjecting yourself to investigational medicine.
The most important part of the research process is you. The COMPASS Project researchers are calling on adults in their communities to enroll in the study en masse to help future generations to develop better treatments for this disorder. Join The COMPASS Project, and you can play a vital role in improving the health profile of the national Black community.
For more information, please visit: Drexel.edu/wellcenter
The Drexel University Center for Weight, Eating and Lifestyle (WEL) Science is an interdisciplinary clinical research center that aims to develop, test, and disseminate new behavioral and technological solutions to improve obesity, poor diet, sedentariness, and disordered eating.
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