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Projects

Current Projects

The CARE Project - Now Recruiting

Do you experience loss-of-control eating? We are looking for volunteers to participate in a study testing a new group treatment for loss-of-control or binge eating. The treatment groups will take place weekly at Drexel University and consist of 10 sessions over 3 months. We are also looking for people with loss-of-control eating to complete a 3-hour assessment of thinking style. You will be paid for participation. If you are interested, call (215) 553-7100 or e-mail careproject@drexel.edu.

Mind Your Health

Coordinator: Emily Wyckoff (epw38@drexel.edu; (215) 553-7104)
This project is an NIH-funded randomized controlled trial designed to compare the gold standard behavioral treatment for obesity with a behavioral approach that incorporates acceptance-based principles drawn from Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Marlatt's mindfulness-based relapse prevention, and especially Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Overweight participants are randomly assigned to group-based standard behavioral treatment (SBT) or acceptance-based behavioral treatment (ABT). The project has a special interest in real-time measurement of factors leading to dietary lapses throughout the day, and in the success of treatments in long-term weight maintenance.

Project ENACT - Now Recruiting

Coordinator:Colleen Kase (enactproject@drexel.edu; (215) 553-7161)
This project is a five-year, NIH-funded randomized controlled trial (PI: Butryn) designed to test whether the gold-standard behavioral approach to weight loss can be improved by incorporating acceptance-based skills (e.g., mindfulness, commitment to behavior change) and modification of cues in the home environment. Over the course of the one-year intervention, participants attend weekly group-based sessions for 4 months, bi-weekly sessions for the next 2 months, and monthly sessions for the last 6 months. They then attend follow-up assessments at 6 and 12 months post-treatment. Analyses will test whether there are any differences in degree of weight loss maintenance over the follow-up period.

TakeControl: A Smartphone App For Binge Eating -Now Recruiting

Do you experience loss-of-control eating? We are looking for volunteers to participate in several studies to assist with the development of a new app designed to treat binge eating disorder. You will be paid for participation. If you are interested, call (215) 553-7111 or e-mail takecontrol@drexel.edu.

PROJECT CONNECT - Now Recruiting

Are you a woman age 25-70 who would like to be more active? Do you wish you could connect with someone who has a similar goal, and could provide encouragement and support? Join Drexel’s PROJECT CONNECT! This month-long, no-cost program will pair you with another woman who wishes to be more active, and will teach skills to help you communicate and support one another. You also will be able to test out an internet-connected activity monitor and learn behavioral skills for increasing activity. Contact projectconnect@drexel.edu or call (215) 553-7110 for more information.

The ICT Project - Now Recruiting

Do you experience loss-of-control eating? We are looking for volunteers to participate in a study testing a new computerized treatment for loss-of-control or binge eating. The computerized treatment takes places daily for 6 weeks and can be completed on a home computer.  You will be paid for participation. If you are interested, call (215) 553-7100 or e-mail drexelictstudy@gmail.com.

Next Steps- Now Recruiting

Are you a woman age 30 to 65 and interested in weight loss? Drexel University is conducting a study designed to teach skills to help women lose weight. This no-cost, 12-week program includes group meetings with other women and a lifestyle modification specialist. For more information, call 215-553-7110 or email nextsteps@drexel.edu.

Project AWARE – Awareness for Weight Loss and Regulating Eating:

Are you concerned about your weight? Would you like to lose weight and decrease your food intake? Would you like to learn a new weight loss method that helps you become more mindful of your eating habits?

Drexel University is conducting a research study that offers a non-medication mindfulness-based group treatment for adults interested in losing weight and decreasing their food intake. To participate, you must be between the ages of 18-70, have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 25 and no greater than 50, have the ability to speak and read fluent English, and reside in the Philadelphia area. You also must have access to a computer/laptop with an Internet connection that has a monitor screen of at least 10 inches diagonal. Interested participants must be willing to participate in 3 group sessions, for a total of 6 treatment hours. The study will last approximately 6 weeks. The treatment program is offered without charge and participants will be compensated $40 for full study participation.

To learn more, please call (215) 553-7114 or email us at projectaware01@gmail.com.

Project HELP

Coordinator: Lauren Bradley
We are currently planning an open trial of a remotely-delivered acceptance-based behavioral treatment targeting weight-regain after bariatric surgery. The purpose of this study is to establish this intervention's feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness.

Breast Cancer Survivors Study

Coordinators: Greer Raggio
This study will examine sexual morbidity and mindfulness in survivors of breast cancer.

Recently Completed Projects

Coping Strategies to Manage Food Cravings and Eat Healthier

Our first study compared acceptance-based and traditional, "control"-based approaches to coping with cravings. Participants were taught one of two coping strategies and then asked to carry around transparent boxes of chocolates for 48 hours, but not to eat those chocolates or any others during the 48-hour period. Results indicated that the relative efficacy of the two approaches depended on individuals' sensitivity to the food environment (Forman, Hoffman, McGrath, Herbert, Brandsma & Lowe, 2007). More specifically, acceptance-based strategies were significantly superior in terms of both craving intensity and food consumption in those individuals who were the most sensitive to the food environment, whereas control-based strategies appeared to be advantageous for those who were less sensitive. The second study used a similar protocol, but participants were overweight women recruited from the community, the time frame was increased to 72 hours, and participants were asked to refrain from all sweets. Results generally echoed those of the first study.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Physical Activity Promotion

This project examined the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in promoting physical activity behaviors among individuals who were struggling to adhere to their physical activity goals. Results indicated that ACT was superior to an educational intervention at increasing objectively-measured frequency of physical activity in this population (Butryn, Forman, Hoffman, Shaw, & Juarascio, 2011).

Inhibitory Control Study

The Inhibitory Control Study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to evaluate implicit and explicit training techniques aimed at reducing unwanted eating, which in turn is linked to obesity and its related medical consequences. Specifically, the study evaluated the efficacy of 1) implicit inhibitory control training, 2) mindfulness and acceptance-based training, and 3) the combination of implicit inhibitory control training and mindfulness and acceptance-based training in reducing consumption of  unhealthy salty snack foods.

Implicit Attitudes Study

Coordinator: Stephanie Goldstein
The Implicit Attitudes Study examined the discrepancy between implicit and explicit attitudes towards chocolate items. It is thought that this discrepancy between explicitly stated desire for chocolate and implicitly indicated desires for chocolate might be indicative of disinhibited eating (eating despite intentions not to). Participants completed an hour-long assessment during which they were administered an Implicit Association Task (IAT), self report questionnaires, and completed a chocolate taste test. Results revealed that an implicit-explicit attitude discrepancy was predictive of disinhibited eating behavior. Furthermore, this relationship was moderated by impulsivity levels, such that those with greater levels of impulsivity had a stronger relationship between attitude discrepancy and disinhibited eating.

Acceptance-Based Skills for Physical Activity Promotion

Coordinators: Alyssa Matteucci and Greer Raggio
Current research in this area is evaluating the effectiveness of acceptance-based interventions for the promotion of physical activity as 1) a means of primary prevention of disease in young and middle-aged adults, and 2) a means of weight loss maintenance in successful dieters.