Ulrike Schmidt's research while affiliated with King's College London and other places

Publications (356)

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Treatment outcomes in anorexia nervosa (AN) remain suboptimal, evidencing the need for better and more targeted treatments. Whilst the aetiology of AN is complex, cognitive processes such as attention bias (AB) have been proposed to contribute to maintaining food restriction behaviour. Attention bias modification raining (ABMT) has been investigate...
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Background: Antipsychotic drug-induced weight gain puts individuals with schizophrenia at increased cardiometabolic risk. As a potential intervention for this problem, we describe the theoretical background and a protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial (RCT) of approach bias modification (ABM) training combined with real versus sham...
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Background: Obesity is a highly prevalent condition with multiple adverse health consequences. Widely available first-line treatments for obesity, such as dietary and other lifestyle interventions, typically have only short-term effects. Thus, new treatment approaches are needed. Novel interventions such as Attention Bias Modification Training (AB...
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Background Despite their use in clinical practice, there is little evidence to support the use of therapist written goodbye letters as therapeutic tools. However, preliminary evidence suggests that goodbye letters may have benefits in the treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN). Aims This study aimed to examine whether therapist written goodbye letters...
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Eating disorders are disabling, deadly, and costly mental disorders that considerably impair physical health and disrupt psychosocial functioning. Disturbed attitudes towards weight, body shape, and eating play a key role in the origin and maintenance of eating disorders. Eating disorders have been increasing over the past 50 years and changes in t...
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The cognitive interpersonal model was outlined initially in 2006 in a paper describing the valued and visible aspects of anorexia nervosa (Schmidt and Treasure, 2006). In 2013, we summarised many of the cognitive and emotional traits underpinning the model (Treasure and Schmidt, 2013). In this paper, we describe in more detail the perpetuating aspe...
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Background: We explored the utility of "staging" anorexia nervosa (AN) by duration of illness and psychological wellbeing. We also investigated 12-month symptom trajectories and service usage in a large cohort of patients with AN assessed for outpatient treatment. Method: We conducted secondary analyses on data from a multisite clinical trial of...
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Aims: Eating disorders are serious psychiatric disorders with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Early intervention can improve treatment outcomes and reduce disruption to psychosocial development. However, early intervention is not well established in the eating disorder field. First episode rapid early intervention for eating disorders (FREE...
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Objective: Suicide attempts requiring hospitalization are known to be common in patients who are diagnosed with eating disorders. Attempting suicide is a major indicator for those at risk of completed suicide. Both the specific eating disorder diagnosis and the influence of psychiatric comorbidities on suicide attempts requiring hospitalization we...
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Background: Eating disorders (EDs) during the transition to adulthood can derail social, psychological, and vocational development. Effective treatment is of paramount importance, yet young adults' treatment needs are typically less well met than those of adolescents. In recent years, there has been a considerable shift in how developmental psychol...
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The tendency to act on immediate pleasure-driven desires, due to the devaluation of future rewards [a process known as temporal discounting (TD)], has been associated with substance use disorders (SUD) and with conditions characterised by compulsive overeating. The study involved a large inclusive participant sample (i.e., no diagnostic or exclusio...
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Introduction Worldwide mental health disorders are associated with a considerable amount of human suffering, disability and mortality. Yet, the provision of rapid evidence-based care to mitigate the human and economic costs of these disorders is limited. The greatest progress in developing and delivering early intervention services has occurred wit...
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Background Outpatient interventions for adult anorexia nervosa typically have a modest impact on weight and eating disorder symptomatology. This study examined whether adding a brief online intervention focused on enhancing motivation to change and the development of a recovery identity (RecoveryMANTRA) would improve outcomes in adults with anorexi...
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Aim: We describe 2-year outcomes of a novel first episode early intervention service for young adults with a recent onset eating disorder (FREED). Outcomes in FREED patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) were compared with those from patients previously seen in our service [treatment as usual (TAU) cohort], matched for age, illness duration and diagn...
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Introduction Binge eating disorder (BED) is a common mental disorder, closely associated with obesity. Existing treatments are only moderately effective with high relapse rates, necessitating novel interventions. This paper describes the rationale for, and protocol of, a feasibility randomised controlled trial (RCT), evaluating the combination of t...
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Background: Nonprofessional carers who provide support to an individual with a psychiatric or neurological disorder will often themselves experience symptoms of stress, anxiety, or low mood, and they perceive that they receive little support. Internet-based interventions have previously been found to be effective in the prevention and treatment of...
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This study assessed internal reliability and test-retest reliability of attention bias scores for food derived from the dot probe task. A visual dot probe task with food and non-food pictures (presented for 3000 ms) was administered to 53 healthy women on two occasions. Attention bias scores for food were calculated based on manual response latenci...
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Objective: Inflammation has been proposed to have a pathophysiological role in anorexia nervosa (AN) and to contribute to the maintenance of the disorder. Longitudinal cytokine research in AN has focused on only a few pro-inflammatory cytokines. We assessed a broad range of cytokines over time in people undergoing specialised treatment for AN. Meth...
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The aim of this case study is to illustrate the importance of collaborative care as part of Maudsley Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults (MANTRA). Mothers are often at the foreground of providing support within the family. However, fathers have the potential to play a profound role. In this paper, we describe a patient with anorexia nervosa treat...
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Sample size in clinical trials on anorexia nervosa: a rejoinder to Jenkins - Volume 49 Issue 9 - Timo Brockmeyer, Hans-Christoph Friederich, Beate Wild, Ulrike Schmidt
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Objective Attention processing for food may be biased in people with Anorexia Nervosa (AN). However, previous studies have had inconsistent results. This is likely to be due to indirect assessment of attention, which does not inform on the underlying attention processes, and/or the heterogeneity of participants across studies, testing either adults...
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Background: Bulimia nervosa (BN) is associated with increased mortality. Frequent comorbidities of BN include substance use disorders, affective disorders and personality disorders (PD). These comorbidities may add an additional risk for mortality. Methods: We investigated the influence of these psychiatric comorbidities on all-cause mortality w...
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Objective Bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge‐eating disorder (BED) are associated with poorly controlled approach behavior toward food resulting in binge eating. Approach bias modification (ABM) may reduce these automatic action tendencies (i.e., approach bias) toward food and may thus decrease binge eating and related symptoms. Method A total of 56 p...
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Inflammation has been suggested to play a pathophysiological role in anorexia nervosa (AN). In this exploratory cross-sectional study, we measured serum concentrations of 40 inflammatory markers (including cytokines, chemokines, and adhesion molecules) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in people with AN (n = 27) and healthy controls (HCs...
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Background: Eating disorders (EDs) have been associated with alterations in cytokine concentrations and production. This review examines whether in vitro cytokine production (i) is altered in people with EDs compared to healthy participants; and (ii) changes in response to treatment? Methods: Using PRISMA guidelines, we systematically reviewed a...
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Individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) or binge-eating disorder (BED) experience more frequent and intense food cravings than individuals without binge eating. However, it is currently unclear whether they also show larger food cue-induced increases in craving (i.e., food cue reactivity) than those without binge eating, as suggested by conditioning...
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Cambridge Core - Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology - Primary Care Mental Health - edited by Linda Gask
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Anorexia nervosa (AN) is found associated with increased mortality. Frequent comorbidities of AN include substance use disorders (SUD), affective disorders (AD) and personality disorders (PD). We investigated the influence of these psychiatric comorbidities on all-cause mortality with demographic and socioeconomic factors considered as confounders...
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Objective Treatment options for severe, enduring anorexia nervosa (SE-AN) are limited. Non-invasive neuromodulation is a promising emerging intervention. Our study is a feasibility randomised controlled trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in individuals with SE-AN, which aims to inform the design of a future large-scale tri...
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This study aims to investigate breastfeeding, infant feeding behaviours, and attitudes to feeding amongst women with eating disorders (ED) and healthy controls (HC). Women with active ED (C‐ED; N = 25), past ED (P‐ED; N = 28), and HC (N = 46) were recruited in pregnancy and followed up longitudinally. Post‐natally infant feeding behaviour was inves...
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Cytokines are signalling molecules, which play an important role in both immune system function and brain development and function, and subsequently mental states and behaviour. Cytokines have been implicated in eating disorders (EDs) due to their role in psychological health, body weight and appetite regulation. This meta-analysis examined cross-s...
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“Craving” is a motivational state that promotes an intense desire related to consummatory behaviors. Despite growing interest in the concept of food craving, there is a lack of available instruments to assess it in Brazilian Portuguese. The objectives were to translate and adapt the Trait and the State Food Craving Questionnaire (FCQ-T and FCQ-S) t...
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Background Emotional, social, and neurocognitive factors are theorised to maintain anorexia nervosa (AN). Yet whether they predict outcomes or relate to clinical change remains unclear. Methods Seventy‐one consecutive adult outpatient eating disorder service referrals presenting with AN, who participated in a randomised controlled trial comparing...
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People with anorexia nervosa (AN) report socioemotional difficulties; however, measurement has been criticised for lacking ecological validity and the state or trait nature of difficulties remains unclear. Participants (n = 122) were recruited across 3 groups: people who are currently ill with AN (n = 40); people who recovered (RecAN, n = 18); heal...
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This pilot study assesses the impact of FREED (First Episode Rapid Early Intervention for Eating Disorders [ED]), a novel transdiagnostic service for emerging adults with recent ED onset, on clinical outcomes. Data were collected from 56 patients and 19 carers for 12 months following enrolment. FREED patients showed significant improvements in ED a...
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Background Mental disorders and their symptoms are highly prevalent in the university student population, and the transition from secondary to tertiary education is associated with a rise in mental health problems. Existing web-based interventions for the prevention of common mental disorders in student populations often focus on just one disorder...
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Background Eating disorders are serious conditions associated with an impaired health-related quality of life and increased healthcare utilization and costs. Despite the existence of evidence-based treatments, access to treatment is often delayed due to insufficient health care resources. Internet-based self-help interventions may have the potentia...
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Background Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a life-threatening mental disorder that is associated with substantial caregiver burden. Carers of individuals with AN report high levels of distress and self-blame, and insufficient knowledge to help their loved ones. However, carers can have a very important role to play in aiding recovery from AN, and are ofte...
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Background Mental health problems are common and place a burden on the individual as well as on societal resources. Despite the existence of evidence-based treatments, access to treatment is often prevented or delayed due to insufficient health care resources. Effective internet-based self-help interventions have the potential to reduce the risk fo...
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Objectives: To compare the clinical outcomes of adolescents and young adults with anorexia nervosa (AN) comorbid with broad autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or ASD traits. Method: The developmental and well-being assessment and social aptitude scale were used to categorize adolescents and young adults with AN (N = 149) into those with ASD traits (...
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Introduction: Whilst psychological therapies are the main approach to treatment of eating disorders (EDs), advances in aetiological research suggest the need for the development of more targeted, brain-focused treatments. A range of neurostimulation approaches, most prominently repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), transcranial dire...
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Background Outpatient treatment studies of anorexia nervosa (AN) are notoriously hard to conduct given the ambivalence of the patient group and high drop-out rates. It is therefore not surprising that previous meta-analyses of pharmacological and psychological treatments for outpatient treatment of adult AN have proved to be inconclusive. Network m...
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Background Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a disabling, deadly and costly mental disorder. Until recently, treatment recommendations were based on expert opinion and limited evidence. The aim of this systematic review is to synthesise recent evidence on established and emerging AN treatments and to forecast trends for future developments. Methods We syst...
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Psychopharmacological options for adult patients with anorexia nervosa: the patients’ and carers’ perspectives - Hubertus Himmerich, Moradeke Joaquim, Jessica Bentley, Carol Kan, Julia Dornik, Janet Treasure, Ulrike Schmidt
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TRIANGLE is a multicentre trial investigating whether the addition of a novel intervention for patients and carers (ECHOMANTRA) to treatment as usual (TAU) improves outcomes for people with anorexia nervosa (AN). ECHOMANTRA is based on the cognitive interpersonal model of AN and includes assessments, workbooks, videos, online groups and joint Skype...
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Aim: The aim of the study is to establish the acceptability, feasibility and approximate size of the effect of adding a carer intervention [Experienced Caregivers Helping Others (ECHO)] to treatment as usual (TAU) for adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Methods: The study is a pilot randomised trial comparing TAU (n = 50) alone or TAU plus ECHO w...
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Objective: Sudden gains (SGs), broadly defined as sudden symptom reductions occurring between two consecutive treatment sessions, have been associated with improved treatment outcomes in anxiety and depression. The present study is the first to formally define SGs in anorexia nervosa and explore the characteristics, demographic and baseline clinic...
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Purpose of review: Psychological interventions are the treatment of choice for most eating disorders; however, significant proportions of patients do not recover with these. Advances in understanding of the neurobiology of eating disorders have led to the development of targeted treatments, such as deep brain stimulation (DBS), noninvasive brain s...
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Background Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a severe psychiatric condition and evidence on how to best treat it is limited. Objectives This programme consists of seven integrated work packages (WPs) and aims to develop and test disseminable and cost-effective treatments to optimise management for people with AN across all stages of illness. Methods WP1a...
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Altered inhibitory control has been implicated in the development and maintenance of eating disorders (ED), however it is unclear how different types of inhibitory control are affected across the EDs. We explored whether individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED) and anorexia nervosa (AN) differed from healthy individuals (H...
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Introduction: Although recent research has focused on the effects of maternal eating disorders (EDs) on children, little is known about the effect of maternal EDs on neurobiological outcomes in newborns and infants. This study is the first to investigate neurobehavioural regulation and cognitive development in newborns and infants of mothers with...
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Background: Evidence suggests that stress plays a role in changes in body weight and disordered eating. The present study examined the effect of mood, affect systems (attachment and social rank) and affect regulatory processes (self-criticism, self-reassurance) on the stress process and how this impacts on changes in weight and disordered eating. M...
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Bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED) have been associated with poorer reward-related inhibitory control, reflected by a reduced tendency to delay gratification. The opposite has been reported in anorexia nervosa (AN), but differences have not been directly compared across eating disorders (EDs). This study investigated self-reported...
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Background: Evidence suggests that pathological eating behaviours in bulimia nervosa (BN) are underpinned by alterations in reward processing and self-regulatory control, and by functional changes in neurocircuitry encompassing the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Manipulation of this region with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDC...
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This study investigated the prevalence of disordered eating cognitions and behaviours across mid-adolescence in a large European sample, and explored the extent to which prevalence ratings were affected by informant (parent/adolescent), or the sex or age of the adolescent. The Development and Well-Being Assessment was completed by parent–adolescent...
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This study is part of a series of process evaluations within the MOSAIC Trial (Maudsley Outpatient Study of Treatments for Anorexia Nervosa and Related Conditions). This randomised controlled trial (RCT) compared two psychological treatments, the Maudsley Model for Treatment of Adults with Anorexia Nervosa (MANTRA) and Specialist Supportive Clinica...
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Background Considerable progress has been made in recent years in developing effective treatments for child and adolescent anorexia nervosa, with a general consensus in the field that eating disorders focussed family therapy (often referred to as Maudsley Family Therapy or Family Based Treatment) currently offers the most promising outcomes. Nevert...