Family-Based Treatment Without Borders


Kristen Anderson, LCSW, and Daniel LeGrange, PhD

The University of Chicago is currently seeking participants for a research study utilizing telemedicine for the treatment of adolescent anorexia nervosa. The purpose of this study is to address the treatment needs of families in remote, rural, or underrepresented parts of the US by delivering family-based treatment (FBT) for anorexia nervosa via telemedicine. The study requires that the adolescent and his/her parents/guardians be interviewed, fill out questionnaires, and then participate in outpatient family-based treatment (AKA the Maudsley Approach). All interviews and therapy sessions will take place via telemedicine. Participants must be between 13 and 18 years of age.  Twenty outpatient sessions will be conducted over a 6-month period at no cost. At the current time, we are only recruiting families living in the state of Illinois.

Interested participants should contact the project coordinator, Setareh O'Brien, B.A. at (773) 702-9683 or [email protected].


Aims of the Project

This study aims to assess the feasibility of conducting family-based treatment via telemedicine. Due to particularly limited availability of trained FBT therapists in rural or remote areas, many families do not have access to this evidence-based treatment. The significance of a treatment for anorexia via telemedicine is high, as it could lead it improved physical health, psychological health, and promote normal development of adolescents with anorexia nervosa.



Eligible participants must be:

  • Between 13 and 18 years old
  • Meeting DSM-IV criteria for anorexia nervosa excluding the amenorrhea requirement
  • Medically stable for outpatient treatment
  • If taking a psychotropic medication, have been on a stable dose for at least 8 weeks
  • Have internet connection at home
  • Illinois Resident



  • One or both parents must be willing to participate in treatment and assessments.



  1. A preliminary phone conversation will be scheduled to allow for research staff to provide more information and determine if the participant might be eligible for the treatment study.
  2. A "baseline" assessment is scheduled, which is a preliminary interview with research staff. This assessment will be conducted via telemedicine. In this meeting, participants will be assessed more comprehensively to determine if the treatment study is a good fit for the participant and the family. In addition, the adolescent and parent(s) are interviewed and asked to fill out several questionnaires. During this assessment, the family will be given the opportunity to ask questions and make a final decision about whether or not to participate.
  3. Following the baseline assessment, the participant and his/her family are assigned to family-based treatment and treatment will commence.


More Information

For more information, please contact Setareh O’Brien at (773) 702-9683 or [email protected].