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Clinical Trial Summary

Excessive physical exercise is one of the main symptoms of anorexia and a common restrictive behavior used by patients, which is associated with less short- and long-term treatment success. Supervised exercise has shown these benefits in patients with anorexia: opportunity to learn and acquire knowledge and information on how to perform physical activity in a healthy, safe and moderate way, less feelings of incapacity; lower risk of relapse; prohibiting exercise during treatment can increase the likelihood that patients will revert to old patterns once therapy is completed. Exercise can be as effective as antidepressants and psychological therapies to treat some cases of depression present in anorexia. The objective of the ESATRAL program is to analyze the physiological, psychological, body composition, physical condition and functionality effects of a supervised strength-focused training program in patients with anorexia nervosa after hospital discharge. All participants are assessed at baseline, after 12 weeks, post-treatment (24 weeks), and at 9 months' post follow-up (36 weeks).


Clinical Trial Description

Experts in eating disorders recommend restricting exercise until the person is medically stable, of sufficient weight and able to compensate exercise with sufficient energy intake. In this sense, a reintroduction and promotion of healthy exercise should be done in a graded and supervised manner, where exercise would provide great benefits, such as improving social confidence and providing a tool for healthy living. That is the goal of the ESATRAL (EXCERCISE AND HEALTH IN EATING DISSORDERS) program. The relationship between eating disorders (ED) and exercise has been controversial, but different studies have already shown that the therapeutic use of exercise in the treatment could be positive if used as a tool for healthy living. Historically in the literature, exercise in anorexia has been mainly considered as a problematic activity that should be limited or even completely forbidden, especially during the acute phase of the disorder, but different researchers have already questioned the restriction-based approach to exercise and investigated its potentially healthy role in recovery. It should also be noted that restricting physical activity can have detrimental musculoskeletal and cardiometabolic consequences for patients with anorexia. In addition to experiencing significant strength losses and atrophy of type II muscle fibers, the loss of lean tissue affects organ mass and function in these patients. Lean body mass-comprised of visceral organs such as the liver and heart, as well as bone and skeletal muscle-plays an important role in setting the demand for energy metabolism. Patients with anorexia present with a number of characteristic metabolic and endocrine disorders as a result of chronic malnutrition that affect lean tissue. ESATRAL is a supervised physical exercise program that is implemented in patients with anorexia nervosa after hospital discharge. ESATRAL consists of three days of weekly strength training that will be measured following the strength-velocity methodology. The objective of the ESATRAL program is to analyze the physiological, psychological, body composition, physical condition and functionality effects of a supervised strength-focused training program (6 month duration) in patients with anorexia nervosa after hospital discharge. The risk of relapse is an obstacle that can be minimized if supervised exercise were included in the treatment of anorexia as is done in ESATRAL. Many patients engage in excessive and unsupervised exercise, and returning to this level of physical activity after treatment has been associated with an increased risk of relapse. Therefore, prohibiting exercise during treatment may increase the likelihood that patients will fall back into old patterns after treatment ends, hence the importance of ESATRAL. The ESATRAL project will compare the effects of supervised strength training as a part of the treatment vs. treatment without supervised strength training, in patients with Anorexia nervosa after hospital discharge. All participants will be assessed at baseline, after 12 weeks, post-treatment (24 weeks), and at 9 months' post follow-up (36 weeks). . The study will be conducted with ITA- PREVI patients at the PERFORMA personal training health center in Valencia. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05039385
Study type Interventional
Source Fundación Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir
Contact Ana Pablos, PhD
Phone 00 34 651387225
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date September 1, 2021
Completion date July 30, 2023

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