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Keywords:

  • alternative delivery systems;
  • new technologies;
  • eating disorders

Abstract

Objective

The purpose of the current article is to review the literature regarding the use of alternative delivery systems, such as telemedicine, and new technologies, such as the use of hand-held computers, in the treatment of patients with eating disorders.

Method

The literature is reviewed in the following areas: self-help (supervised and unsupervised), telemedicine, telephone therapy, e-mail, internet, computer software, CD-ROMs, portable computers, and virtual reality techniques.

Results

A growing literature suggests a number of alternative delivery systems hold promise, in particular permitting patients to access services who otherwise would not be able to receive treatment. Although most of these areas are early in their development, a growing literature supports the utility of several of these approaches.

Discussion

Although the literature in this area is limited, and the research base is small, a number of these technologies appear to hold substantial promise for the treatment of patients with eating disorders. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 36: 123–143, 2004.