Preventing Eating Disorder by Improving Mental Health Literacy in Chinese Adolescents


Mental health literacy (MHL) is necessary for the prevention, detection, and treatment of eating disorders. However, MHL about eating disorder is inadequate. Hence, the current study aimed to improve eating disorder MHL using a brief intervention among Chinese adolescents.

Full Title of Study: “Preventing Eating Disorder by Improving Mental Health Literacy in Chinese Adolescents: A Non-randomized Cluster Controlled Trial”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Non-Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Prevention
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: June 5, 2022


  • Behavioral: MHL intervention
    • The current MHL intervention is a brief online intervention and comprises two modules. The first module is a short video introducing a teenage girl with eating disorder. The second module is an online lecture comprising information about eating disorder including its prevalence, symptoms, type, cause, treatment, a related symptom checker, and sources of help. The above two modules are implemented in a single session lasting approximately 2 hours.
  • Behavioral: Waiting list
    • Participants assigned to the waiting list group will not receive any intervention until the end of the three-month follow-up at which they received the same intervention as the MHL intervention group.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: MHL intervention
    • Mental health literacy intervention for eating disorder
  • Other: Waiting list
    • The waiting list group received MHL intervention at the end of 3-month follow-up assessment.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • MHL about eating disorder
    • Time Frame: 3 months
    • The MHL about eating disorders was developed for the current study and was divided into three subscales: knowledge, attitude, and behavior. The respondents first read a vignette describing a teenage girl with objective binges and extreme excessive exercise, and then selected their answers to questions from a given set of choices.
  • social distance scale
    • Time Frame: 3 months
    • The social distance scale was used to assess the level of social rejection that individuals were likely to impose on individuals with eating disorders. The lower the score, the greater the desire for social distancing and the more negative the attitude toward people with eating disorders.

Secondary Measures

  • Weight Concerns Scale
    • Time Frame: 3 months
    • The Weight Concerns Scale was used to assess weight concern and shape concern, with a higher score indicating more concern.
    • Time Frame: 3 months
    • The SCOFF (Sick, Control, One, Fat, Food) was used to detect the existence of eating disorder symptoms.
  • Helping behavior
    • Time Frame: 3 months
    • Three items were developed to asssess individuals’ actual helping behaviors.
  • Patient Health Questionnaire-4
    • Time Frame: 3 months
    • The Patient Health Questionnaire-4 was used to assess any negative impact on participant’s well-being.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Middle school students Exclusion Criteria:


Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: N/A

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Peking University
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor

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