Dr. Karin Jasper
Clinical Mental Health Specialist
Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Program
905-895-4521 ext. 2130
Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy), Master of Arts (Philosophy), Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Education (Applied Psychology)
Associations and Affiliations:
Member of the Academy of Eating Disorders and the Canadian Psychological Association.
Dr. Ahmed Boachie, Director, Eating Disorder Program, Southlake Regional Health Centre
Dr. Adele LaFrance Robinson, Assistant Professor, Laurentian University
Dr. Karin Jasper's main research focus is on evaluating the effectiveness of the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Program at Southlake. The program includes inpatient, outpatient, and day hospital treatment. Eating disorders account for the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness and have the potential for becoming chronic and debilitating. By studying changes in behavioural symptoms such as emotions, attitudes, and beliefs; the focus of Dr. Jasper's research is on assessing the impact of the treatment on patients and their families.
Research Summary of Key Projects:
The main research project that Dr. Jasper works on is meant to evaluate the effectiveness of the Eating Disorder Program and its outcome on patients. After an initial assessment where patients complete questionnaires for clinical purposes, patients and their parents are given treatment recommendations and are asked if they will participate in the program evaluation research. If they consent, they are asked to complete questionnaires at three, six, and twelve month intervals. Research to date has focused on the optimal length of time for patients to stay in the outpatient and day hospital treatments, parental evaluation of the impact and increased confidence on helping their children to recover, and the impact of the treatments on behaviours, feelings, and attitudes. The findings suggest that Southlake is having a positive impact on patient outcomes within three to six months of initiation of treatment, which is consistent with outcomes at international centres.
In collaboration with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Hospital for Sick Children, the Southlake Eating Disorder Program is pooling its data in order to learn which types of treatments work best for different patient profiles.
Southlake's Eating Disorder Program is known nationally for having developed the innovation of day hospital treatment for adolescents, using family-based or Maudsley treatment principles. The treatment allows patients to stay with their families on evenings and weekends and includes a classroom and board certified teacher so patients do not fall behind in school while getting the intensive treatment they need. Dr. Jasper and Dr. Boachie aim to show that through their research, this type of treatment is effective, with the aim of having this treatment recognized at an international level.
Future Goals and Interest in Research:
Dr. Jasper and Dr. Ahmed Boachie are interested in planning future research that will test whether early intervention with family based treatment can improve outcomes for children and adolescents with eating disorders. The goal of this research is to prevent eating disorders in those who are at high risk of developing one before they can be officially diagnosed in order to better their chances of a good outcome.
Related Articles and Publications:
The Physician Role in Helping Adolescents with the Social and Psychological Consequences of Obesity by Ahmed Boachie and Karin Jasper
Living with an Eating Disorder: What About Brothers and Sisters? By Karin Jasper and Ahmed Boachie
A Parent's Guide to Defeating Eating Disorders: Spotting the Stealth Bomber and Other Symbolic Approaches By: Dr. Ahmed Boachie and Dr. Karin Jasper (Book)