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Eating Disorder Research, Studies, and Tests

To help further the treatment of eating disorders, Eating Disorder Hope maintains this list of tests, studies, questionnaires, and examinations that are looking for volunteers, and/or offer free evaluation. Eating Disorder Research and these tests and professional studies are making every-day differences in helping us to understand the causes of and best treatment practices for eating disorders.

Screening Methods and Tests

Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26)

The EAT-26 is the most widely cited standardized self-report screening measure that may be able to help you determine if you have an eating disorder that needs professional attention. The EAT-26 is not designed to make a diagnosis of an eating disorder or to take the place of a professional diagnosis or consultation.  The EAT-26 is free to users (  Take the EAT-26 now and get immediate and anonymous feedback:

Garner et al. (1982). The Eating Attitudes Test: Psychometric features and clinical correlates. Psychological Medicine, 12, 871-878.
Garner & Garfinkel. (1979). The Eating Attitudes Test: Psychometric features and clinical correlates. Psychological Medicine, 12, 871-878

Eating Disorder Inventory-3 (EDI-3)

Eating Disorder Inventory-3 Eating Disorder ResearchThe Eating Disorder Inventory-3 (EDI-3) is a revision of the most widely used self-report measure of psychological traits or constructs shown to be clinically relevant in individuals suffering from eating disorders (Garner, 2004).  The EDI-3 is a standardized and easily administered measure yielding objective scores and profiles that are useful in case conceptualization and treatment planning for individuals with a confirmed or suspected eating disorder.  It is also a valuable research tool for assessing areas of psychopathology of interest in theory-testing, identifying meaningful patient subgroups and assessing treatment outcome. The EDI-3 and the EDI-3 Referral Form (for screening) can be ordered from Psychological Assessment Resources:

Clausen, L. Rosenvinge, J.H., Friborg, O. and Rokkedal, K. (2011). Validating the Eating Disorder Inventory-3 (EDI-3): A comparison between 561 female eating disorders patients and 878 Females from the general population. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 33, 101-110.
Garner, D. M. (2004). The Eating Disorder Inventory-3: Professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.
Garner, D. M., Olmstead, M. P., & Polivy, J. (1983). Development and validation of a multidimensional eating disorder inventory for anorexia nervosa and bulimia. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 2(2), 15-34.


Psychotropic medications in adult and adolescent eating disorders: clinical practice versus evidence-based recommendations

David M. Garner • Michael L. Anderson • Christopher D. Keiper • Rachel Whynott • Lisa Parker

Click here to read this Article.

Scientific Exploration of Eating Disorders

The field of eating disorder research is continually evolving, and treatments are being developed and refined based on these discoveries. Given the complex nature of eating disorders, it is not surprising that the factors that contribute to these diseases are multifaceted.  There is not one single cause responsible for the formation and development of an eating disorder, but rather, an accumulation of several possible compounding factors that each play a role in the development and maintenance of these diseases.  These factors can be biological, sociological, emotional, environmental, etc.

One factor frequently investigated by researchers is the biological component of eating disorders.  Many have pondered and theorized what mechanisms occur in the human body, and brain specifically, that can make an individual susceptible to developing anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder.  Studies are currently underway that are examining potential contributing factors of an eating disorder, such as genetics, hormones, and neurobiology. Read this article to learn more about Scientific Developments and Research in Eating Disorders.

Eating Disorder Research & Studies

UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment & Research


Project Name: Sensation and Emotion

Project Description: This research uses fMRI to assess how the brains of individuals who have recovered from eating disorders may respond differently during tasks related to various sensations. Participants will complete diagnostic interviews and a 3.5 hour scan visit. With 2-2.5 hours in the MRI scanner. In the scanner participants will complete a learning based activity and we will also measure emotional response to sound.

Who may be eligible: Females between the ages of 18-45 who have recovered from anorexia nervosa.

Compensation: Participants will be compensated up to $200 dollars for the single visit. Depending on participants’ current location, we cover travel expenses as well as one night hotel stay for the visit.

For more information: please contact Taylor Perry at (858)-246-2660 or email [email protected]


Project Name: Self-Regulatory Control in Bulimia Nervosa

Description: This research use fMRI to assess how the brains of individuals who currently have eating disorders may respond differently when inhibiting responses and regulating emotions. Participants will complete diagnostic interviews and assessments. In the Scanner participants will complete two task. The first involves pressing buttons in response to certain pictures, and the second involves viewing different neutral or emotional images and using emotional regulation strategies taught during screening.

Who may be eligible: Right-handed females between the ages of 18-35 who currently have bulimia nervosa.

Compensation: Participants are compensated up to $225. Depending on participant’s currently location  we can cover travel expense (up to 150 miles) as well as a one night hotel stay for the visit.

For more information:  Contact Joanna Chen at (858)-543-0371 or email [email protected]


We are currently recruiting for three studies utilizing a technology called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

MRI techniques use powerful magnetic fields that temporarily magnetize some of the chemicals in your brain, which allows a scanner and a computer to take a very detailed picture of the structure of your brain.

  • Project Name: Neurobiology of Anorexia and Bulimia. Description: This study is designed to assess brain response to different types of sensation. You would be compensated $200 for this single visit. We are recruiting women between the ages of 18 -45. We require that our participants be drug and medicine free for at least 3 months (birth control is okay), as well as be behavior/symptom free for at least 12 months, if you have recovered from an eating disorder.
  • Project Name: Neurobiology of Reward and Decision-Making in Bulimia Nervosa. Description: This MRI study is also a one-hour scan session for which participants will be compensated up to $200 for taking part. We are recruiting women between 15 and 30 years old. Participants must be drug and medicine free for at least 3 months (birth control is okay). Participants may currently have or be recovered (behavior/symptom free for at least 12 months) from bulimia nervosa, or may have never had an eating disorder.
  • Project Name: Neural Bases of Multiple Forms of Self-Regulatory Control in Bulimia Nervosa. Description: This third MRI study requires three hours of interview and assessment time with a one-hour scan session for which participants will be compensated up to $200 for taking part. We are recruiting women between 15 and 35 years old. Participants must be drug and medicine free for at least 3 months (birth control is okay). Participants may currently have bulimia nervosa and engage in purging behaviors, or may have never had an eating disorder.

For more information: Please email [email protected]

Massachusetts General Hospital Research Study

Project Name: Effects of Anorexia Nervosa on Peak Bone Mass

Project Description: Massachusetts General Hospital is conducting a research study to learn how to improve bone density in young women 14-22 years of age who are low weight or suffering from anorexia nervosa. This is a 12 month long study with up to 10 outpatient visits at MGH and compensation of up to $910. The study includes bone density, hormonal, and nutritional evaluations at no cost.

Massachusetts General Hospital Bone Mass StudyAges: Young women 14-22 years of age who are low weight or suffering from anorexia nervosa.

For more information: Please contact Meghan Slattery, NP at [email protected] or (617) 643-0267

Survey: Click on this link to take our Eligibility Survey: Massachusetts General Hospital Bone Density Study

*Click on Image to View PDF

Stanford University Research Study

Project Name: Qsymia (phentermine-topiramate) to Reduce Binge Eating/Purging in Patients with Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa

Project Description: This study aims to test the efficacy of an FDA approved drug for obesity, Qsymia, for reducing symptoms of binge eating and/or purging in participants with binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa, compared to a control medication. All study participants will receive the study medication– either in the first half of the study or in the second half of the study. Neither you nor members of the research team will know the order in which you receive them until the end of the trial. Medication is provided at no cost and the study is expected to take up to 6 months.

Stanford Research Study ImageAges: Men and women aged 18-60 with current symptoms of binge eating and/or purging

For More Information: Please contact Hannah at [email protected] or at (650)-723-2242.

Click on the PDF for more information.


The Chicago School of Professional Psychology seeks female volunteers for study

Project Name: Adolescent’s Experience of Anorexia with a Friend; A Phenomenological Study

Project Description: Various research has suggested that adolescent female friends share similar attitudes and behaviors toward body image concerns and dieting.  While the importance and influence of friends has been examined, one area that lacks research and understanding is the role that a friend who has previously suffered from anorexia plays in a friend’s current experience with anorexia.  The proposed research aims to eliminate this gap in understanding through a phenomenological study involving in-depth interviews with six females who suffered from anorexia nervosa during adolescence.

Seeking females 18+ who have recovered from anorexia nervosa within the past five years. Specifically seeking those who had a friend who also struggled with anorexia nervosa during or prior to the friendship.

For more information, contact Hillary Urban at [email protected] or call 810-­623-7659.

Researchers from Deakin University, School of Psychology Seek Volunteers for Eating Disorder Study

Project Name: Profiling the early maladpative schemas, schema modes, and eating disorder behaviors in eating disorder subgroups.

Project Description: Eating disorders (EDs) are associated with severe psychological and physiological impacts. ED affected individuals often hold chronic and rigid beliefs and tend not to respond to standard psychological treatments, suggesting a more focused, sophisticated and intensive treatment approach such as Schema Therapy and Schema Mode therapy might be needed.

The aim of this study is to profile the patterns of specific Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMSs) and Schema Modes (SMs) in ED groups. EMSs are one’s unhelpful beliefs about themselves, others, and the world around them. These beliefs are developed in childhood and adolescence and built upon throughout one’s life. SMs are a combination of these schemas and coping behaviors that are either adaptive or maladaptive and present at any particular moment. Gaining insight into the underlying belief system can be critical in the ongoing optimization of clinical assessment and treatment of EDs.

Type of Research:

This is a PhD research at Deakin University, Australia

It uses the online survey method.

The online anonymous survey can be accessed at:

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

Contact person and details:
Jinyuan (Queenie) Wu
Deakin University
[email protected]

This study has been approved by Deakin research ethics committee on 13/01/2015.

Researcher from The City University London, School of Social Sciences, Seeking Volunteers

Project Name: Feelings and Faces

Purpose of Study: Researchers are looking at the reasons why some people have difficulties with impulsive behaviours, such as self-harm and what their feelings are around food. This study aims to look at how people pick up on what others are thinking and feeling, as well as how people think about their own thoughts and feelings. Greater knowledge in this area will help in designing better psychological therapies for people who have impulsive behaviours or strong feelings they find it difficult to deal with.

If you suffer from an eating disorder with/without self-harm and are interested in participating in a research study about feelings & faces, please access survey here.

This research has been approved by City University and the NHS. If you would like to ask more questions about the research, please contact Angie Cucchi on 07930 645428  or email: [email protected]

Various Research Studies for Women with Anorexia Nervosa

The Neuroendocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital is offering a variety of research studies for women with anorexia nervosa. We are currently researching different methods of treatment for bone loss, anxiety & depression, and gastrointestinal issues in women with anorexia nervosa. If you are interested in participating, take this brief pre-screening survey –

Massachusetts General Hospital Neuroendocrine Unit
(617) 724-7129
[email protected]

Research Treatment Trial for Anorexia Nervosa at the University of North Carolina

The UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders is studying two different treatments intended to help couples in which one partner has a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa (AN). Eligible couples will receive 23 weeks of study-related treatment from the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders team at no cost and payment for participating in additional assessments. If you are 18 years or older, married or have been in a committed relationship with your partner for at least 6 months, and currently live together, you may be eligible. One partner must have a diagnosis of AN, and both partners must speak English. All research related therapy and evaluations are offered at no cost.

More information is available at Please contact the research coordinator, Kate Nowlan, at 919-843-2483 or email [email protected] for more information.

[email protected]

Doctoral Student at Fordham University Performing Study – Participants Requested

Doctoral Student would like to invite you to consider participating in an anonymous study that examines factors that may be related to Anorexia Nervosa severity. The results of this study will help treatment providers better identify early warning signs of Anorexia Nervosa and create more tailored treatment plans.

To be eligible for this study, you must be (1) between the ages of 12 and 18; (2) have previously had or currently be receiving professional treatment for Anorexia Nervosa; and (3) have parental permission to participate.

Participation will involve completing a series of online questionnaires, which will take approximately 30 minutes. You will not be asked to provide your name at any time. Publications or presentations about the research will not include individual responses, only summary data on all participants.

If you would like to participate in this online study, please visit:

*Participants have a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card by participating in this study!

 Study on Anorexia Nervosa and Religious Coping Styles

Graduate student at Richmont Graduate University is conducting a study aimed at distinguishing how religious coping methods and views of God’s grace affect and interact with Anorexia Nervosa.

Males and females age 18 or older who:

  • claim Christianity as their religion;
  • have been diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa;
  • care read at the 6th grade level; AND
  • are willing to spend 20 to 35 minutes answering questions on online questionnaires.

To participate in the study, please visit the following website:

Complete five online questionnaires at your own pace, on your own time, and in the comfort of your own home!

No identifying information will be requested.

This study has received approval from the Richmont Graduate University Human Subjects Committee. Primary investigators for this study are DeAnne Terrell, Ph.D., Dean of Students, Richmont Graduate University, and Katie Rider, BA, Master of Arts in Professional Counseling student, Richmont Graduate University.

For more information, please visit the following website or contact Katie Rider at 678-235-5917 or [email protected].

Dyadic Adjustment in Mothers of Children with Anorexia

Are you the mother of a child who is currently receiving outpatient treatment for Anorexia Nervosa? If so, we’d like to invite you to participate in an anonymous study that examines the experience of caring for a child with Anorexia Nervosa. This study will look at how a child’s eating disorder affects the parents and family, and how families cope with caring for a child with Anorexia. We hope these research findings will provide greater insight into how a child’s illness affects families, so that more support services can be developed to help parents and caregivers. To be eligible for this study, you must be the mother to a child with Anorexia and currently be in a committed relationship. If your child is between the ages of 10-21, is currently receiving outpatient treatment for Anorexia Nervosa, and is currently living with you and your spouse/partner at home, we invite you to participate in this important study.Participation will involve: Completing the questionnaire online will take approximately 15-30 minutes. You will not be asked to provide your name at any time– Publications or presentations about the research findings will not include individual responses, only summary data on all participants will be presented. If you would like more information about this study, please contact Marissa Alexander at [email protected], or Dr. Merle Keitel at [email protected]

To participate in this study, click on the following link:

Newly proposed DSM-5 criteria reduce the need for not otherwise specified diagnoses and can be reliability applied by clinicians in a residential eating disorder treatment setting

Jennifer J. Thomas, Ph.D.1,2,3; Kamryn T. Eddy, Ph.D.2,3;
Robert Hohe, B.S.1,2,4; Philip Levendusky, Ph.D. 1,3; Anne E. Becker, M.D., Ph.D., Sc.M.2,3,5

1Klarman Eating Disorders Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, USA
2Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
3Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
4Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany
5Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Objective: The DSM-5 Eating Disorders (ED) Work Group has proposed new diagnostic criteria that broaden anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN); add new disorders (e.g., binge eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder); and create descriptive subtypes within ED not otherwise specified (EDNOS). However, the reliability and validity of these new criteria have not been prospectively tested. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of proposed DSM-5 criteria by assessing the prevalence of EDNOS under DSM-IV versus DSM-5; and the inter-rater reliability of research and clinician diagnoses in DSM-IV versus DSM-5.

Method: Consecutive female patients aged 13-23 (N = 42) admitted to a residential ED treatment facility received both DSM-IV and DSM-5 ED diagnoses from a research assessor (n = 3) via the Eating Disorder Examination; and a treating clinician (n = 13) via an unstructured interview in routine care. We tested our hypothesis that significantly fewer patients would receive EDNOS diagnoses under DSM-5 versus DSM-IV using Fisher’s exact test, and evaluated inter-rater reliability between research and clinician diagnoses using Cohen’s kappa.

Results: As hypothesized, significantly fewer patients received EDNOS diagnoses from researchers under DSM-5 (n = 14; 33%) versus DSM-IV (n = 30; 71%), p = .003. Clinicians also conferred fewer EDNOS diagnoses under DSM-5 (n = 7; 17%) than DSM-IV (n = 14; 33%), p = .003. While research and clinical diagnoses showed moderate inter-rater reliability under DSM-IV (κ = .41), they showed substantial reliability under DSM-5 (κ = .62).

Conclusion: Our preliminary data suggest that the proposed DSM-5 revisions will successfully reduce the predominance of EDNOS in this naturalistic clinical setting. Importantly, the observed improvement in clinical utility is not associated with a reduction in inter-rater reliability, suggesting that clinicians can reliably apply the new criteria in routine care.

Johns Hopkins Eating Disorder Program Researching Effectiveness of a Research Medication in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa

The Johns Hopkins Eating Disorders Program is seeking adults aged 18-55 to participate in a placebo-controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of a research medication in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. Participants will be offered 16 weeks of medication (active or inactive) and weekly outpatient medical monitoring by a psychiatrist. The treatment will be provided at no cost and participants will receive up to $250 for completing all parts of the study. To participate, you must have anorexia nervosa, be 18-55 years old, be medically stable for outpatient treatment, and willing to complete assessments (interviews, questionnaires and medical evaluations) at intervals throughout the 16-week study and at 1- and 2-month follow-ups. All information gathered will remain confidential. Please call (410) 955-3863 for more information or email Angela Guarda at [email protected], or visit information.

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