A feasibility study of the delivery of online brief cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT-T) for eating disorder pathology in the workplace

Carla T. Toro, Tabitha Jackson, Agatha S. Payne, Lukasz Walasek, Sean Russell, Guy Daly, Glenn Waller, Caroline Meyer

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Objective: CBT-T is a brief (10 sessions) version of cognitive behavioral therapy for non-underweight eating disorders. This report describes the protocol for a single center, single group, feasibility trial of online CBT-T in the workplace as an alternative to the health-service setting. By offering mental health services for eating disorders in the workplace, greater accessibility and increased help-seeking behaviors could be achieved. Method: Treatment will be delivered online over 10 weeks and offered to employees based on self-referral rather than meeting diagnostic criteria, making treatment available to employees with sub-threshold eating disorder symptoms. Results: Assessments will be conducted at baseline, mid-treatment (week 4), posttreatment (week 10) and at follow-up (1 month and 3 months posttreatment). For the primary outcome, measures will include recruitment, attrition and attendance data using pre-set benchmarks to determine high, medium or low feasibility and acceptability. Qualitative participant experiences data will be analyzed using thematic analysis. Impact on work engagement and effect sizes will be determined from secondary outcome measures; the latter enabling sample size calculations for future study. Discussion: These pilot data will provide insights to recruitment, acceptability, effectiveness and viability of a future fully powered clinical trial of online CBT-T in the workplace. Public Significance Statement: This study will present feasibility data from an eating disorders intervention (online CBT-T) using the workplace as an alternative to the healthcare setting to recruit and treat workers. Recruitment will be based on self-reported eating and weight concerns rather than diagnosis potentially enabling treatment to employees who have not previously sought help. The data will also provide insights to recruitment, acceptability, effectiveness, and future viability of CBT-T in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-730
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number5
Early online date15 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in anymedium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made


  • binge-eating disorder
  • bulimia nervosa
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • eating disorder
  • mental disorders
  • workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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