State-wide university implementation of an online platform for eating disorders screening and intervention

Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft*, Marie Laure Firebaugh, Andrea Kass Graham, Dawn M. Eichen, Grace E. Monterubio, Katherine N. Balantekin, Anna M. Karam, Annie Seal, Burkhardt Funk, C. Barr Taylor, Denise E. Wilfley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The Internet-based Healthy Body Image (HBI) Program platform uses online screening to identify individuals at low risk for, high risk for, or with an eating disorder (ED) and then directs users to tailored, evidence-based online/mobile interventions or referral to in-person care to address individuals' risk/clinical status. We examined findings from the first state-wide deployment of HBI over the course of 3 years in Missouri public universities, sponsored by the Missouri Eating Disorders Council and the Missouri Mental Health Foundation. First, the screen was completed 2,454 times, with an average of 2.5% of the undergraduate student body on each campus taking the screen. Second, ED risk level in the participating students was high-over 56% of students screened were identified as being at high risk for ED onset or having a clinical/subclinical ED. Third, uptake for the HBI online/mobile interventions ranged from 44-51%, with higher rates of uptake in the high-risk compared with low-risk group. Fourth, results showed that, for students with a clinical/subclinical ED, use of the clinical mobile application Student Bodies-Eating Disorders intervention resulted in significantly decreased restrictive eating and binge eating. Neither vomiting nor diet pill/laxative use was found to decrease, but reports of these behaviors were very low. This is the first deployment of a comprehensive online platform for screening and delivering tailored interventions to a population of individuals with varying ED risk and symptom profiles in an organized care setting. Implications for future research and sustaining and broadening the reach of HBI are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2019


  • College
  • Eating disorders
  • Mobile app
  • Prevention
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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