UCAN - Uniting Couples in the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa

Uniting Couples in the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa (UCAN) is a collaborative treatment research study between the UNC Eating Disorders Program and the UNC Department of Psychology and is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder. People with anorexia are thin, have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight, are afraid of weight gain, and cut back on how much food they eat. Anorexia nervosa affects both women and men.

What You Can Expect from UCAN

The study examines two comprehensive treatments as couples face the challenges of anorexia nervosa. Active treatment will last for about six months, and your progress will continue to be monitored for up to one-year after treatment is completed.

Your participation in UCAN can help you gain new confidence in facing anorexia and can help us understand how best to involve partners in the treatment of eating disorders.

Experienced Professionals

All treatment is conducted by therapists, physicians, and dietitians with extensive experience in treating eating disorders.

Comprehensive Assessment

You and your partner will receive a comprehensive baseline assessment to determine eligibility.  If eligible, you will receive 5 follow-up assessments during which you will complete questionnaires, interviews, and conversations between the two of you.  You will be paid $250 for your time.

Comprehensive Treatment

Eating disorder treatment is often expensive, costing thousands of dollars. Because this is a therapy research study, we are able to offer this study-related leading-edge treatment to you at no cost. Participation will include about six months of comprehensive study-related treatment, including visits with therapists, a psychiatrist, and a dietitian. Couples will be randomly assigned to receive one of two forms of treatment; the degree to which your partner or spouse is involved in treatment will vary.

Is UCAN for You?

The UCAN program might be appropriate for you if:

  • You or your partner has anorexia nervosa
  • You and your partner have lived together for at least 6 months
  • You are both at least 18 years old
  • You are both interested in participating in the study

If this sounds like you or your partner, you may be eligible to participate in UCAN. For more information, please call our study coordinator at (919) 843-2483 or email us at UCAN@unc.edu.

Directions: All treatment sessions will be conducted at UNC's Eating Disorders Program (first floor of the UNC Neurosciences Hospital).


Click here to learn more.

Filed under: