"Problems associated with abnormal eating behaviour cause a significant burden on individuals, society and health services.
This project focuses on anorexia nervosa (AN), an illness which is characterised by low weight, body dissatisfaction and restriction of food intake.
The aims of the project are: a) to develop the candidate as independent researcher; b) to conduct a proof of concept study that will test an intervention aimed at reducing food associated fear, anxiety and avoidance in people with AN; and c) to investigate clinical, psychological and neural biomarkers associated with acute AN and with treatment outcomes.
The study will be centred around a randomised controlled trial that will compare an intervention that uses self-help mobile technologies and guided virtual exposure to food with treatment as usual (TAU). A multimodal assessment that will employ clinical, cognitive and functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) measures will be conducted pre- and post-intervention.
It is hoped that the results obtained from this study will allow the development of an evidence-based, feasible and cost-effective treatment for AN, which is part self-directed, deliverable through the use of new technologies. In addition the project will hopefully contribute to the understanding of the aetiology of AN.
Achievement of the aims of the proposed fellowship will be facilitated by the fact that the candidate is well qualified; the project is being conducted within a large and established eating disorders group in King’s College London and lastly, because it will done in conjunction with a multidisciplinary and international team."
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