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Projects

Current Projects

Project DASH: Now Recruiting

Coordinator: Cara Dochat (projectdash@drexel.edu, 215.553.7114)
Project DASH is an innovative study funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to test whether a computer-based training can "train your brain" to help you eat a healthier diet. We are looking for participants who are overweight and have a "sweet tooth," and who are interested in eating a healthier diet and losing weight. Participants will be instructed to follow a diet that reduces sugar intake for 10 weeks. Participants will complete daily computer trainings at home for 10 minutes per day for 6 weeks, and attend 4 in-lab sessions for additional training and assessment. If you are between 25 and 55 years old, are overweight, eat sweets regularly, and would like to participate in Project DASH, please complete this online form.

DietAlert: Now Recruiting

Coordinator: Jerry Martin (dietalert@drexel.edu; 215-553-7114)
DietAlert is a therapeutic smartphone app for individuals who are on a weight loss diet. DietAlert allows users to track behaviors that could cause them to lapse from their diets, and subsequently providing customized assistance in moments of need. The app is designed to analyze relationships between triggers and lapses, and predict when an individual might be at risk for going off of their diet. We are currently recruiting for test users. If you are looking to lose weight, and are interested in participating, please complete this online form

INSPIRE: Now Recruiting

Coordinator: Arielle Wolinsky (inspireproject@drexel.edu; 215.553.7137)
If you suffer from bulimia nervosa and are interested in seeking treatment, Drexel University's, INSPIRE project, is looking for volunteers to participate in their free treatment outcome study. The INSPIRE project compares a novel, acceptance-based behavioral treatment for bulimia nervosa to an existing behavioral treatment. Study participants must be 18 or over, meet criteria for a primary diagnosis of bulimia nervosa, and receive medical clearance from their PCP for participation in an outpatient treatment study.

ICAT: A Smart Phone Application for Bulimia

ICAT is a smart phone application designed to work in conjunction with Integrative Cognitive-Affective Therapy for Bulimia. The iCAT app's primary design will be to analyze individuals' relationships between binge/purge triggers and episodes and deliver customized, automated, and self-selected interventions using Ecological Momentary Assessment and machine learning techniques - prompting an individual to use interventions whenever he/she is most "at-risk".

Project Impact

Coordinator: Amani Piers (impact@drexel.edu; 215.553.7110 or 215.553.7161)
Project Impact is an NIH-funded randomized controlled trial (PI: Butryn) investigating behavioral approaches to weight loss. Over the course of 18 months, participants in Project Impact will attend 30 groups sessions led by weight-control specialists. During these sessions, they will learn skills related to nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle modification to help them lose weight and keep this weight off.

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

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.

Recently Completed Projects

TakeControl: A Smartphone App For Binge Eating

TakeControl is a therapeutic smartphone app for individuals with binge eating. TakeControl seeks to provide individuals with scientifically supported intervention for binge eating in the form of interactive modules that contain text, worksheets, and videos. Users can also access quick “Coping Strategies” in moments of need. TakeControl has been licensed to a technology start-up company.

Project HELP

This study was 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.

Project AWARE

This study compared a mindful eating workshop with acceptance based behavioral treatment for weight loss in overweight adults.

The Soda Study

This study tested the effect of visual imagery on liking of non-diet soft drinks in frequent soda drinkers.

The CARE Project

The CARE project tested a 3-month group treatment intervention teaching acceptance-based skills for Binge Eating.

PROJECT CONNECT

Project Connect was a remotely-delivered physical activity pilot program. The program employed automated PA monitors and PA-related social networking support (i.e., pairing participants with a partner who was also attempting to increase activity) to address common barriers to physical activity, such as lack of motivation and/or social support.

The ICT Project

This study tested a new computerized treatment aimed at training inhibitory control for those with loss-of-control or binge eating.

Breast Cancer Survivors Study

This study examined sexual morbidity and mindfulness in survivors of breast cancer.

Coping Strategies to Manage Food Cravings and Eat Healthier

This study compared acceptance-based and traditional, "control"-based approaches to coping with cravings. 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.

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.

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

The Implicit Attitudes Study examined the discrepancy between implicit and explicit attitudes towards chocolate items. Results revealed that an implicit-explicit attitude discrepancy was predictive of disinhibited eating behavior. Impulsivity levels moderated this relationship, 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

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.