The Center for the Advancement of Research on Eating Behaviors (CARE) is directed by Dr. Kelsie Forbush in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kansas. CARE conducts innovative and transformative research to better identify persons with eating-disorder issues for early screening, intervention, and treatment progress monitoring. Our center is also devoted to cutting-edge research to improve the way eating and weight disorders are diagnosed in clinical practice. CARE has been supported through generous donations, industry-sponsored awards, and research grants, including the M. Erik Wright Endowment, Clifford B. Kinley Trust, National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), Healthy Weight Research Network, National Institute of Health, and University of Kansas (KU) New Faculty General Research Fund and Strategic Initiatives Grant.
Why Are We Passionate About Eating-Disorders Research?
Bulimia nervosa (a disorder that is characterized by binge eating and compensatory behaviors, like purging) is the fourth leading cause of death and disability among young women. Even more troubling is that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder, yet treatments are effective for only 40-60% of clients who seek treatment. Thus, there is a critical need for research to identify the underlying causes of eating disorders, ensure that people with eating disorders are accurately identified by healthcare providers so that they can receive swift and effective intervention, and test which treatments work best for certain clients. Without research to address these issues, people with eating disorders will continue to “slip through the cracks” in the healthcare system, and not live the productive, high quality lives that they deserve to live. These sobering statistics led to our passion to innovative science in eating disorders. We strive to directly apply our findings to clinical settings to improve lives for people with the deadliest form of mental illness. Our research staff is sensitive to the concerns experienced by those suffering from disordered eating behaviors and strives to give participants a pleasant research experience.
Internationally Recognized Research, Awards, and Honors
Dr. Forbush has received several awards and honors for the research conducted in the CARE Lab. Some of her recent awards include the 2015 Rising Star Award from the American Psychological Society; the 2018 Scientific Contribution Award from the Academy for Eating Disorders Assessment and Diagnosis Special Interest Group; and the Wiley Outstanding Scientific Contribution Award for best paper published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders (Wildes, Forbush et al., 2017).
Brittany Bohrer received the 2015 Matina S. Horner Research Fellowship from Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital and the 2016 KU Graduate Research Competition Award for Psychology.
Danielle Chapa received a prestigious KU Diversity Fellowhip for the 2015-2016 academic year and was recognized with an Honorable Mention for the Ford Foundation Fellowship from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She also received the KU Clinical Psychology Program's Citizenship Award for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Kelsey Hagan was awarded the KU Carlin Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for the 2015-2016 academic year and was awarded the KU Clinical Psychology Program’s C.R. Synder Research Achievement Award and the Don Hutchings Memorial Award. She was awarded the 2017-2018 University of Kansas Women's Club Scholarship and the University of Kansas Graduate Studies Summer Scholarship for Summer 2017 to support her dissertation research.
Caitlin Goddard (former undergraduate research assistant) received the University of Kansas Department of Psychology 2017 Growth and Achievement Award. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Denver.
Brianne Richson was named a Chancellor’s Fellow, a prestigious award for incoming KU graduate students.