Profiling the Early Maladaptive Schemas, Schema Modes, and Eating Disorder Behaviours in Eating Disorder Subgroups

1. Your name, academic institution and contact details

Jinyuan (Queenie) Wu
Deakin University

2. Name of Chief Investigator

A/Prof Ross King
A/Prof Andrew Lewis
3. Name University Supervisor(s)
A/Prof Ross King
A/Prof Andrew Lewis

4. The name of your project and a brief synopsis

Project title: Profiling the early maladaptive schemas, schema modes, and eating disorder behaviours in eating disorder subgroups.
Eating disorders (EDs) such as Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN), and Binge Eating Disorder (BED) are associated with severe psychological and physiological impacts, and represent a significant and escalating problem in community health. In the past two decades, a myriad of treatments have been developed for EDs and while these show varying degrees of evidence-based support, none are universally effective for all eating disorders or clients. Given this, there is a need to better understand those psychological factors that underpin ED behaviours.
Schema Therapy (ST) was initially developed to treat personality dysfunction, but has increasingly been used with other complex psychiatric disorders. Cross-sectional research in adults confirms the presence of Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMSs) in individuals with EDs as well as the association of schema and binge eating and depression. Those with BN symptoms score significantly higher than weight-matched health control subjects on 10 of the 15 EMSs assessed. EMS level cognitions have also been shown to play an important role in the development and maintenance of ED symptoms; strong associations exist between certain EMSs and specific eating disorder behaviours, such as frequency of binge eating and vomiting.
The concept of schema mode (SM) is relatively new, but its use in clinical practice has grown rapidly, due to its utility in overcoming clinical difficulties in individuals with PDs. SMs reflect the combination of schemas and coping strategies active for an individual at any point in time and account for rapid changes in emotional state and behaviour linked to emotional instability. Only one study has focused on the clinical utility of schema-focused treatment for EDs; after receiving ED-adapated group ST (with SM components), most participants made clinically important improvement in ED symptoms, schema severity, shame, anxiety level, and quality of life, suggesting that group schema treatment may hold promise for ED patients with high levels of chronicity and co-morbidity.
The aim of this study is to examine the hypothesis that specific early maladaptive schemas and schema modes will be associated with specific ED behaviours, such as frequency of restrictive dieting, excessive exercise, binge eating and vomiting, in individuals with EDs. Using an online survey method, participants will be assessed fro eating disorder by an online diagnostic screening tool, and those meeting this criteria will compete an online survey of psychological measures. De-identified data will be examined using meditational analysis to ascertain relationships between variables.
To access the survey, please click on the link below:
To view the study flyer please click HERE.

5. Recruitment details

We are looking for adult females and males who self identified as suffering an eating disorder.

6. Human Research Ethics Approval Number

This study has been approved by Deakin Research Ethics committee on 13/01/2015 (Project Code 2014-276)

7. Opening and closing date for recruitment