ACT family-based skills study at Duke

Duke Eating Disorders Program --Treatment Study for Adolescents.

This is a collaborative study between Duke University Medical Center and Towson University. The aim of the study is to develop and test a family-based intervention that combines established eating disorder treatment components with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The family-based intervention, based off of the Parent Skills Curriculum - Off The Cuff (C.U.F.F.), is a unique skills-based program designed to teach parents skills to manage eating disorders in their children. The program teaches behavior management skills, emotion regulation skills, and “anti-perfectionism” skills so that parents can not only help their children manage their disorder but help them to learn strategies to help prevent a relapse of symptoms. Parents in the study receive this curriculum, which has been modified and enhanced with ACT principles and strategies.

With this study, we are trying to learn the most effective way to treat an adolescent’s eating disorder and how best to involve parents and caregivers in the process. Because parents and children have different concerns and are struggling with different aspects of the eating disorder, this treatment involves separated family treatment. Duke is currently enrolling families in this treatment study for adolescents with anorexia nervosa, both threshold and subthreshold cases appropriate. Participants receive 6 months of psychotherapy at no cost and complete 6 months of follow-up assessment for which they receive monetary compensation. For more information, please call (919) 684-0149 or email


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