Anne Roefs is an associate professor at the faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience of Maastricht University. Her research aims at understanding cognitive and neural processes in (ab)normal eating behaviour. She expanded her work to fMRI-research on food reward processing in the brain, and to the development of a self-learning E-Coach for weight loss. For this E-Coach she uses recent insights in network models and analyses. Her work has been supported by multiple grants, including an STW/NIHC/NWO-grant for the development of the E-coach, and recently an NWO VIDI grant for expansion of her fMRI research line. She is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Appetite, Behaviour Research and Therapy, and the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. She published 83 international scientific articles; her H- index is 24 (Web of Science) / 32 (Google Scholar).
Think Slim! Using network analyses for tailoring CBT-based weight-loss treatment
“Think Slim” is a tailored e-coach-intervention for overweight people that is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In study 1, we examined predictors of food consumption in 57 overweight (BMI > 25) and 43 healthy-weight people (BMI < 25). Ecological momentary measurements (EMA) occurred prior to each eating-moment and on 8 random moments throughout each day for a 2-week period. Data of study 1 were used to achieve semi-tailoring of our healthy-eating CBT-intervention
In a RCT, Think Slim (n = 46) was compared to a diet-only controlgroup (n = 50). Think Slim (6 weeks) consisted of an iPhone app and ten web-based CBT sessions. Preceding the intervention phase, participants collected EMA data for a week, to achieve semi-tailoring. After the intervention was finished, another week of EMA data collection followed, to study the change in the networks of variables related to eating behavior from pre to post treatment.
Outcome measures included: BMI, self-reported dysfunctional cognitions and emotions / states, eating styles, eating disorder psychopathology, psychiatric symptoms, and self-esteem. BMI, eating disorder psychopathology and self-liking improved in both conditions, with no significant advantage for Think Slim. Think Slim, as compared to the control group, led to a greater reduction in dysfunctional cognitions related to food intake, emotional eating, and external eating. Higher dietary adherence was associated with greater BMI reduction. The cognitive and emotional improvements achieved by Think Slim may aid in long-term weight-loss maintenance. Results of graph-based network analyses, which are now ongoing, will also be presented.