Ecological Momentary Intervention [EMI]: Incorporating Mobile Technology into a Disordered Eating Treatment Program for College Women
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Joshua M. Smyth
Body image, College women, Disordered eating, Ecological Momentary Assessment, Ecological Momentary Intervention, Mobile technology
Psychosocial and health behavior treatments can be extended beyond research and clinical settings by using mobile technology to provide Ecological Momentary Interventions [EMI] to individuals as they go about their daily lives. This study integrates the assessment (i.e., Ecological Momentary Assessment; EMA) and intervention (i.e., EMI) capacities of palmtop computers to provide individually tailored EMI to participants in real time. The feasibility and efficacy of using EMI to augment a disordered eating treatment intervention for college women was evaluated. Participants were randomized to view psychoeducational videos on a computer (attention control), complete an interactive CD-ROM-based intervention aimed at reducing body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviors (CD), or receive the CD-ROM supplemented with EMI (CD+EMI). The content and timing of EMI was individually tailored in real time and provided on palmtop computers for one week following the CD intervention. Very high compliance rates with the EMA/EMI protocol were demonstrated and women were generally satisfied with the intervention, suggesting it is feasible to implement tailored EMI. An evaluation of treatment efficacy revealed the computerized CD-ROM intervention did not reliably produce significant improvements in body-related constructs and there was no unique or added benefit of EMI. This study was innovative in that it used palmtop computers to combine ambulatory assessment and intervention strategies to provide tailored and contextually sensitive EMI. As such, it adds to the relatively young, but growing EMI literature by identifying challenges and opportunities for ambulatory assessment and intervention methods in psychosocial and health behavior treatments.
Heron, Kristin E., "Ecological Momentary Intervention [EMI]: Incorporating Mobile Technology into a Disordered Eating Treatment Program for College Women" (2011). Psychology - Dissertations. 157.