Positive Affect Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa

Phase-Based Progress Estimates
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Anorexia Nervosa+1 More
Positive Affect Treatment - Behavioral
All Sexes
Eligible conditions

Study Summary

This study is evaluating whether a novel treatment targeting reward mechanisms may help improve symptoms of anorexia nervosa.

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Eligible Conditions

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Anorexia

Treatment Effectiveness

Effectiveness Estimate

1 of 3

Study Objectives

This trial is evaluating whether Positive Affect Treatment will improve 1 primary outcome in patients with Anorexia Nervosa. Measurement will happen over the course of 20-weeks.

Efficacy: Change in BMI

Trial Safety

Safety Estimate

1 of 3

Trial Design

2 Treatment Groups

1 of 2
Positive Affect Treatment
1 of 2
Active Control
Experimental Treatment

This trial requires 25 total participants across 2 different treatment groups

This trial involves 2 different treatments. Positive Affect Treatment is the primary treatment being studied. Participants will all receive the same treatment. There is no placebo group. The treatments being tested are not being studied for commercial purposes.

Positive Affect Treatment
Individuals randomized to the intervention will participate in 20 therapy visits. Before each therapy visit, the participant will meet briefly with a member of the research staff, who will measure weight (blind to the participant) and administer the CHEDS, PANAS, and a pre-session feedback form that will assess how helpful the skills learned in the prior session had been over the past week. After the session, the participant will complete the post-session feedback form, which will assess how helpful the skills he or she perceived the skills from this session to be. These procedures will take approximately 10 minutes. Each intervention session will take approximately 50 minutes to complete. Therefore, each intervention visit will be approximately 1 hour long. Therapy sessions will take place either in the private office of a study therapist or in a consultation room of the Ambulatory Research Center.
WaitlistFor participants randomized to the waitlist control, the opportunity will be offered to participate in the intervention following the second assessment (20 weeks following their Baseline assessment).
First Studied
Drug Approval Stage
How many patients have taken this drug
Positive Affect Treatment

Trial Logistics

Trial Timeline

Approximate Timeline
Screening: ~3 weeks
Treatment: Varies
Reporting: 20-weeks
This trial has the following approximate timeline: 3 weeks for initial screening, variable treatment timelines, and roughly 20-weeks for reporting.

Closest Location

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, MN

Eligibility Criteria

This trial is for patients born any sex aged 18 and older. You must have received 1 prior treatment for Anorexia Nervosa or the other condition listed above. There are 4 eligibility criteria to participate in this trial as listed below.

Mark “yes” if the following statements are true for you:
Identification by the participant of a physical or mental health provider (e.g., physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, masters level social worker, licensed professional clinical counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist) who will serve as the primary provider throughout the study
Willingness to sign a Release of Information that gives the study therapist the right to discuss any change in medical or psychiatric stability or other health concerns with the participant's identified primary provider.
DSM-5 diagnosis of AN (established by the adapted MINI)
Ability to read and speak in English

Patient Q&A Section

Can anorexia nervosa be cured?

"In a recent study, findings question whether AN is an illness that can be cured at all. Further, some of our patients achieved or maintained remission without intensive mental health care." - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer

What causes anorexia nervosa?

"There is no single cause of AN, but most are believed to be triggered by a combination of underlying physical, mental, or emotional problems (including traumatic memories), though it is still unknown how or why they come together to produce the illness. All are linked to the individual's environment (including social attitudes, economic conditions, upbringing, peer pressure, religion, and family history of eating disorders).\n" - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer

What is anorexia nervosa?

"[The term anorexia nervosa was suggested earlier but in some cases, was actually not used by its founders] (https://cdncf.fms.harvard.edu/medico/clinical_prognoses/chapt.0.html). The most prominent characteristic of anorexia nervosa is an [overweighting] sense of low body mass and an ideal body image. This ideal weight will vary based upon the individual's height and sex. [A number of conditions that may affect body weight] (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article." - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer

What are common treatments for anorexia nervosa?

"A substantial proportion of individuals with AN and binge eating disorder have a psychiatric comorbidity. Many of this problem can be treated using a combination of mental health treatment and weight restoration. At times, referral to a bulimia nervosa specialist or other eating disorder specialist may be appropriate. The use of clomipramine or SSRIs may enhance outcomes." - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer

How many people get anorexia nervosa a year in the United States?

"Approximately 30,000 people were diagnosed with anorexia nervosa each year in the United States. The risk of developing anorexia is not evenly distributed among individuals depending on socioeconomic variables such as ethnicity, country of residence, or family history of anorexia nervosa. As the number of people with anorexia nervosa steadily increases, the public health care system will need to make sure that it has the resources to provide for the care of patients in the United States who have anorexia nervosa." - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer

What are the signs of anorexia nervosa?

"About 20–40% of AN outpatients present with the following symptoms: dysphoric thoughts, feelings of low weight, and food cravings. The severity, frequency and duration of these symptoms can determine the likelihood of a diagnosis of AN and the requirement for hospital admission." - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer

What is the latest research for anorexia nervosa?

"The research findings on anorexia nervosa indicate an increasing role for medical genetics in its diagnosis, diagnosis, and treatment. This was especially evident in the area of adolescent or minority presentations and the research findings that anorexia nervosa and its symptoms exist outside the typical age range of diagnoses for this pathology." - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer

Have there been any new discoveries for treating anorexia nervosa?

"The lack of a significant advancement in the treatment of anorexia nervosa implies that the existing treatment protocol is inadequate and needs to be re-evaluated." - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer

Does positive affect treatment improve quality of life for those with anorexia nervosa?

"Given the high correlation between QoL and positive affect, further research is needed to support the hypothesis that positive affect treatment can alleviate symptoms of anorexia nervosa." - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer

Have there been other clinical trials involving positive affect treatment?

"Positive affect therapy appears to be an effective treatment for AN but the few studies evaluating its effects have had relatively small sample sizes. [The patient has anorexia nervosa] and many of these patients also exhibit high scores on cognitive-affective symptoms. Further, the majority of subjects in these studies had a history of depression. Therefore, it may be that positive affect therapy is beneficial for treating mental comorbid conditions in AN patients. However, only one randomized controlled study has examined the efficacy of the positive affect treatment in AN." - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer

Has positive affect treatment proven to be more effective than a placebo?

"The findings suggest that a brief intervention based on the effects of positive emotion is efficacious in reducing anorectic symptoms, however, additional research is needed to examine the long-term consequences of this treatment strategy." - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer

How serious can anorexia nervosa be?

"Anorexia nervosa is a chronic, severe eating disorder. Although it is hard to identify at a young age, the prevalence of anorexia nervosa is not rare at the age of 18 years. The number of cases of anorexia nervosa has the same trend as that of other psychiatric diseases. While there are many theories about the cause of anorexia nervosa, there is yet no agreement on the pathogenesis of the illness. It is important to diagnose anorexia nervosa at an early age to prevent the occurrence of severe physical, psychological, metabolic, family and social problems, which could only be delayed by the course of treatment of serious complication due to anorexia nervosa." - Anonymous Online Contributor

Unverified Answer
Please Note: These questions and answers are submitted by anonymous patients, and have not been verified by our internal team.
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