What is BEST-U?
Building Healthy Eating & Self-Esteem Together for University Students, or BEST-U, is an 11-week treatment study for KU students with eating disorder concerns (e.g., body-image issues, compulsive or unhealthy exercise, binge eating, restrictive eating). BEST-U provides guided self-help Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT-gsh) content through a user-friendly mobile phone app. During the intervention, participants complete weekly treatment modules, surveys, and daily meal, weight, and body checking logs through the app. Participants will also meet with a clinical team member for weekly 30-minute coaching sessions, offering additional support and the opportunity to expand and reflect upon what was learned in the app each week.
What is BEST-U's Purpose?
College students are an at-risk group for developing eating disorders, yet many college campuses lack sufficient resources to provide specialized care for these disorders. The BEST-U study intends to help develop effective, high-quality, eating disorder specialized care that will be more accessible to this vulnerable population. We hope that this mobile form of guided self-help Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT-gsh) will aid in filling gaps pertaining to eating disorder treatment accessibility for other universities across the country.
Next Steps for BEST-U
We are currently testing this intervention in a sample of KU students with eating disorder concerns (e.g., body-image issues, compulsive or unhealthy exercise, binge eating, restrictive eating). However, we aspire to expand the BEST-U program across other universities.