I am Media Smart: Expanding the reach and delivery of an online program found to both reduce eating disorder risk and increase eating disorder remission

About this study

I am Media Smart is a free, online program open to all Australians aged 13-25 years who wish to improve their body image. https://mediasmart.flinders.edu.au This new study builds on award-winning Media Smart research with women aged 18-25 where MS was found to: reduce eating disorder (ED) onset by 66% (in those not meeting diagnosis at baseline) and increase remission rates by 75% (in those meeting diagnosis at baseline) relative to controls; lower six ED risk factors; and reduce the risk of a range of related symptoms (e.g., depressive symptoms; thoughts about self-harm). While Media Smart is intended to be a prevention program for those at risk of an ED or who want to improve their body image, it is also found to be helpful as an early intervention program for those already with an eating disorder. Thus the program is likely to be suitable for those across the spectrum of body image concerns, including those on waiting lists for treatment and those engaged in treatment. There are two aims of this new study: 1) To see if the program is beneficial for a wider audience (people aged 13-25 of any gender) than our first trial (women aged 18-25 years) 2) To compare outcomes for a weekly release of the modules vs a flexible rate of program completion (user chooses own rate).

Research TeamDr Simon Wilksch & Professor Tracey Wade
InstitutionFlinders University
Ethics Approval Number8287
Funding SourceAustralian Rotary Health
Project Start DateOctober 16, 2020
Project End DateJune 1, 2022
Participants13-25 year-olds of any gender in Australia who wish to improve their body image. Both those with and without an eating disorder are welcome to participate.
What is InvolvedParticipation is fully confidential and online at https://mediasmart.flinders.edu.au.

It involves: consenting to participate, completing a baseline survey, being randomly allocated to one of 3 programs, completing the survey 8 weeks later, 6- and 12-months later. The groups are:
1. Media Smart – Weekly (8 modules at the rate of one per week)
2. Media Smart – Flexible (8 modules at the rate the user chooses)
3. Body image tips

As an appreciation for participants’ time, a $30 gift voucher will be sent to those who complete all 4 surveys.
LocationAustralia wide
Contact Details

Dr Simon Wilksch simon.wilksch@flinders.edu.au

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