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Effects of an Internet-based Prevention Programme for Eating Disorders in the USA and Germany — A Meta-analytic Review


  • Some of the results were presented at the 14th annual meeting of the Eating Disorder Research Society, 25 September 2008, Montreal, Canada.

Ina Beintner, Dipl.-Psych., Institut für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie, Technische Universität Dresden, Chemnitzer Straße 46, 01187 Dresden, Germany. Tel: +49 351 463 37460; Fax: +49 351 463 37208.



A cross-cultural comparison of a cognitive–behavioural, Internet-based, 8-week prevention programme for eating disorders (StudentBodies™) evaluated in the USA and in Germany was performed. Six US and four German randomized controlled trials with a total (N) of 990 female high school and college students were included in the review. Two of the US and two of the German trials explicitly addressed high risk samples in a selective prevention approach. Effect sizes for main outcomes (disordered eating, weight and shape concerns) were calculated at postintervention and at follow-up. The intervention was associated with moderate improvements in eating disorder-related attitudes, especially reductions of negative body image and the desire to be thin. The reported effects remained significant at follow-up. No clear differences between US and German samples could be found on any of the outcome measures at postintervention. In conclusion, StudentBodies™ seems equally suitable and effective for American and German students. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.