The shifting perspectives study protocol: Cognitive remediation therapy as an adjunctive treatment to family based treatment for adolescents with anorexia nervosa

C. Alix Timko, Anushua Bhattacharya, Kathleen Kara Fitzpatrick, Holly Howe, Daniel Rodriguez, Connor Mears, Kerri Heckert, Peter A. Ubel, Jill Ehrenreich-May, Rebecka Peebles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Adolescents with anorexia nervosa have set-shifting inefficiencies that can be exacerbated by starvation and that may interfere with outcomes of treatment interventions. Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT), an adjunctive treatment focused on improving set-shifting, can target inefficiencies and may augment treatment effectiveness. The best way to add CRT to the standard of care (Family Based Treatment, FBT) for adolescents with anorexia remains understudied. Methods/design: This is a randomized controlled trial designed to determine if CRT is effective in increasing flexibility in adolescents with anorexia and/or their parents. Participants are adolescents 12–18 years old with anorexia and their parents. 54 family groups will be randomized into one of three groups: FBT only, FBT plus Parent-focused CRT, or FBT plus Adolescent-focused CRT. Psychosocial, neurocognitive, and behavioral measures will be collected throughout the study. Discussion: This is the first study of its kind to apply CRT to parents. All forms of CRT in the context of anorexia have targeted the individual with anorexia's thinking style. We propose that it may be impactful to target the parent of the adolescent with anorexia as parents carry the burden of treatment and re-nourishment of their child during FBT and may have similar thinking styles. Conclusion: This study takes an experimental therapeutics approach to further our understanding of the mechanisms of treatment for adolescents with anorexia. It focuses on increasing cognitive flexibility in patients or their parents and determining the appropriate dose of CRT needed to achieve positive change. Trial registration: ClinicalTrails.gov Identifier NCT03928028

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106313
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Volume103
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Cognitive remediation therapy
  • Family based treatment
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Set shifting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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