Adrienne Juarascio, PhD
Director, Practicum Training
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
- Enhancing treatment outcomes for eating disorders and obesity
- Acceptance-based behavioral treatments
- Evaluating mechanisms of action in behavioral treatments
How We Make a Difference: Public/Civic Impact
Eating disorders are considered critical public health issues and are associated with significant negative physical and psychosocial consequences. According to a recent study using a nationally-representative sample, as many as 3.7 million Americans will have a lifetime bulimia or binge eating disorder diagnosis and as many as 42.2 million Americans will experience clinically-significant binge eating. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), including an enhanced transdiagnostic version, is the current frontline treatment approach for binge eating. However, although CBT can be an effective treatment for many individuals, recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses have found that 40-50% of patients with binge eating disorder and nearly 70% of patients with bulimia remain symptomatic after a full course of CBT.
Juarascio’s work focuses on identifying new and more effective treatment approaches for eating disorders. In particular, her work focuses on the identification of factors that maintain eating pathology (e.g. impulsivity, emotion dysregulation, altered reward responsivity) that are inadequately targeted in existing treatment approaches and the development of novel treatment approaches that can better target these maintenance factors.
Adrienne Juarascio, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and a licensed clinical psychologist. She also serves as the Director of Practicum Training for the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Director of Training for the WELL Center.
Adrienne’s line of research is focused on the development of innovative treatments for eating disorders with two particular areas of emphasis:
- the use of acceptance-based behaviors treatment approaches to improve factors that maintain eating pathology (e.g. emotion dysregulation, impulsivity, altered patterns of reward sensitivity)
- the use of technology to augment existing treatments
She is currently the PI on two active grant-funded projects that are evaluating the use of novel technologies to improve treatment outcomes in bulimia nervosa. The ACQUIRE Project is an NIMH funded R34 designed to evaluate the use of ecological momentary interventions as a method for improving skill acquisition and utilization during CBT for bulimia nervosa. The second project is funded through the Hilda and Preston Davis foundation and involves testing whether continuous glucose monitoring could be used to detect compliance with regular eating interventions and disordered eating symptoms in bulimia nervosa. These two projects build off of two recently completed grant funded studies that she served as PI for (the ICAT+ project, funded through the National Eating Disorder Association and the EMOTE Project, funded through the Clinical and Translational Research Institute) which tested a Just-in-Time Adaptive Intervention delivered via smartphone application for transdiagnostic binge eating and the use of wearable sensors that can detect physiological correlates of negative affect that may precede risk for emotional eating behaviors, respectively.
In addition to her technology focused work, she is also the PI on two clinical trials testing novel behavioral treatments for bulimia nervosa (The INSPIRE Project, NIMH K23) and binge eating disorder (The BALANCING ACT Project, NIDDK R01). Both of these treatments are designed to evaluate the efficacy of incorporating acceptance-based treatment components (drawn from treatments such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) into standard behavioral treatments for eating pathology.