Associate Professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University
Associate Professor in the Dept. of Pediatrics at McMaster University
Associate Professor in the Dept. of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University
Medical Co-Director of the Eating Disorders Program at McMaster Children's Hospital

Dr. Jennifer Couturier is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and is the medical co-director of the Eating Disorders Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital. She is an Associate Professor within the Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, Pediatrics, and Health Research Methods Evidence and Impact at McMaster University. Her research focuses on psychotherapy approaches for eating disorders, with a special interest in implementation of these treatments.

Current Activities

Some Active Research Projects:

TransitionED: Co-Designing and Implementing Canadian Practice Guidelines for Transitions for Youth with Eating Disorders: Developing Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines for transitioning Youth and Young adults (YYA) with eating disorders, including recommendations for measurement tools (to evaluate transition readiness and continuity of care), key indicators of a successful transition and transition interventions; and to identify contextual factors critical for implementing the practice guidelines and how to measure the feasibility and uptake of the recommended measures and transition interventions with diverse YYA.

Guided Self Help-Family Based Therapy: A comparative effectiveness study confirming if clinical improvements in GSH-FBT are achieved with greater efficiency than virtual family-based therapy (FBT-V) in generalizable clinical settings. Moreover, to understand possible barriers to adoption of GSH-FBT by exploring therapist attitudes towards it within their organization contexts (e.g., hybrid 1 type design).

Implementing Virtual Parent Support Groups for Eating Disorders across Canada (vPLPSG): To understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic faced by persons with lived experience with eating disorders throughout the country, as well as describe stakeholder views on virtual parent-led peer support groups. Given the increased burden faced by parents of children with eating disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic, we used qualitative semi-structured interviews to gather an understanding of the impact of the pandemic on relevant stakeholders across the country. Furthermore, we evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of the implementation of virtual parent-led peer support groups in several regions of Canada by examining parent and parent peer support provider experiences.

Implementing Canadian Practice Guidelines for Treating Children and Adolescents with Eating Disorders: A concurrent mixed methods research design combining principles of implementation science with a learning health systems approach in order to involve various stakeholders within several learning communities with a common goal to improve health outcomes for our target population of youth with eating disorders. Qualitative and quantitative strands of data will be collected in parallel for the purpose of gaining a more robust understanding of guideline implementation barriers and facilitators, as well as strategies to enhance uptake.


Five Most Impactful Publications:

Couturier, J., Sami, S., Nicula, M., Pellegrini, D., Webb, C., Johnson, N., & Lock, J. (2023). Examining the feasibility of a parental self-help intervention for families awaiting pediatric eating disorder services. The International journal of eating disorders56(1), 276–281.

Couturier, J., Pellegrini, D., Grennan, L., Nicula, M., Miller, C., Agar, P., Webb, C., Anderson, K., Barwick, M., Dimitropoulos, G., Findlay, S., Kimber, M., McVey, G., Paularinne, R., Nelson, A., DeGagne, K., Bourret, K., Restall, S., Rosner, J., Hewitt-McVicker, K., … Lock, J. (2022). A qualitative evaluation of team and family perceptions of family-based treatment delivered by videoconferencing (FBT-V) for adolescent Anorexia Nervosa during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of eating disorders10(1), 111.

Couturier, J., Pellegrini, D., Grennan, L., Nicula, M., Miller, C., Agar, P., Webb, C., Anderson, K., Barwick, M., Dimitropoulos, G., Findlay, S., Kimber, M., McVey, G., & Lock, J. (2023). Multidisciplinary implementation of family-based treatment delivered by videoconferencing (FBT-V) for adolescent anorexia nervosa during the COVID-19 pandemic. Translational behavioral medicine13(2), 85–97.

Couturier, J., Gayowsky, A., Findlay, S., Webb, C., Sami, S., Chan, A. K. C., Chanchlani, R., & Kurdyak, P. (2022). A retrospective cohort study examining health care utilization patterns in individuals diagnosed with an eating disorder in childhood and/or adolescence. The International journal of eating disorders55(10), 1316–1330.

Couturier J, Kimber M. Dissemination and Implementation of Manualized Family-Based Treatment: A Systematic Review. Innovations in Family Therapy for Eating Disorders: Novel Treatment Developments, Patient Insights, and the Role of Carers. Editors Stuart Murray, Leslie Anderson and Leigh Cohn. October 2016.

To read more from Dr. Jennifer Couturier:

Jennifer Couturier

Contact Jennifer

Research Interests

eating disorders, family therapy, evidence-based research

Education, Memberships, Certifications

M.Sc. University of Western Ontario, M.D., University of Western Ontario, FRCPC – Psychiatrist, Fellow of the Academy of Eating Disorders 

Additional Information

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