The open versus blind weight conundrum: A multisite randomized controlled trial across multiple levels of patient care for anorexia nervosa

Stuart B. Murray, Cheri A. Levinson, Nicholas R. Farrell, Jason M. Nagata, Emilio J. Compte, Daniel Le Grange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a disorder characterized by a profound fear of weight gain, resulting in significant weight loss, as well as behavioral symptoms that interfere with weight normalization. In concert, weight gain remains a proximal goal of treatment, and patient weighing is a critical component of treatment. However, divergent approaches exist in how patient weighing is undertaken in clinical practice. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of a brief course of open weighing (sharing weight data with patients) versus blind weighing (not sharing weight data with patients) on distress around being weighed and AN symptom severity. Method: 216 patients with AN and atypical AN will be randomized to receive 4 weeks of open or blind weighing practices across residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment settings, within the context of manualized empirically supported treatment. Following 4 weeks of open or blind weighing, all patients will be enrolled into open weighing practices. Primary outcomes of interest will be patient-reported distress around being weighed at week 5 and eating disorder symptom severity at week 5. Secondary outcomes will assess weight prediction error, intolerance of uncertainty, and the fear of food. Discussion: No best practice guidelines exist in determining optimal practices around weighing patients with AN. This multisite randomized controlled trial will provide the first known data on the impact of open versus blind weighing practices upon weight-related distress and AN symptom severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2079-2085
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume53
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anorexia nervosa
  • blind weight
  • open weight
  • randomized controlled trial
  • registered report

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