Published in Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention, Study Finds FBT via Telemedicine Leads to Positive Patient Outcomes in Young People
San Diego, Calif. (June 22, 2022) – Equip, the only provider of virtual, evidence-based eating disorder treatment in the U.S., today published data from its groundbreaking study proving the efficacy of virtual Family-Based Treatment (FBT) for eating disorders amongst children, adolescents, and young adults. The study, which was published in Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention, confirms that FBT delivered via telemedicine leads to meaningful reduction in eating disorder symptoms and improvement in mood for patients and their families.
The study closely evaluated Equip’s FBT model, in which each eating disorder patients received care from a five-person coordinated team including a therapist, dietitian, medical provider, peer mentor, and family mentor for up to 12 months.
Key findings include:
- 80 percent of patients achieved their weight restoration goals;
- Patients’ eating disorder symptoms were reduced by half*;
- Symptoms of depression and anxiety lessened by one-third*;
- Family members felt more confident and reported a reduced burden in taking care of their loved one.
*after 16 weeks of treatment
Eating disorders surged 70 percent during the pandemic, and we already knew only 80 percent of Americans receive treatment, with a small fraction receiving evidence-based care. With access to eating disorder treatment proving more critical than ever, Equip has scaled its treatment to patients in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., a pivotal step in closing the treatment gap.
“The lack of access to eating disorder care is a critical, urgent issue,” said Dori Steinberg, Vice President of Research at Equip and lead author of the study. “When we talk about evidence-based treatment, it means that it needs to be studied and measured in a robust way. We did that here. Virtual FBT is an effective model and it works just as well, if not better, than in-person treatment for eating disorders. This research will allow people to receive the help they need and make lasting recovery possible for more Americans.”
Over 30 million Americans will be affected by an eating disorder in their lifetime. As the mental illness with the second highest mortality rate after opioid addiction, the ability to access evidence-based care could be life-saving. To deliver on its mission, Equip, which launched in 2020, has forged in-network partnerships with major commercial health insurance payors including Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, United Healthcare, and several Medicaid health plans to ensure that everyone can get access to quality, affordable care.
“Recovering from an eating disorder is an extremely taxing process that comes with immense emotional, financial, and social burdens,” said Dr. Erin Parks, co-founder and COO of Equip. “When families are able to access treatment from their home—with the support of their entire village of extended family, siblings, coaches, teachers, and more—true lasting recovery is possible for young people.”
The study can be found via PDF here and at Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention. To learn more about Equip, visit www.equip.health.
Equip is the leading provider of virtual, evidence-based eating disorder treatment in the U.S. Founded in 2019, Equip is built upon a combination of clinical expertise and lived experience to transform eating disorder care and make it accessible to all patients and families.
Built on the Family-Based Treatment (FBT) model, Equip uses a five-person dedicated care team – including a therapist, dietitian, physician, and peer & family mentor – to support patients in their recovery journey. The company operates in all U.S. states and is partnered with nearly every major health insurance plan. For more information, visit www.equip.health.
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1. Steinberg, Dori et al. “Effectiveness of delivering evidence-based eating disorder treatment via telemedicine for children, adolescents, and youth.” Eating disorders vol. 31,1 (2023): 85-101. doi:10.1080/10640266.2022.2076334
2. Chesney, Edward et al. “Risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders: a meta-review.” World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) vol. 13,2 (2014): 153-60. doi:10.1002/wps.20128