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Zafra Cooper

DPhil, BA, DClinPsych
Professor Adjunct of Psychiatry

Contact Information

Zafra Cooper, DPhil, BA, DClinPsych

Mailing Address

  • The Veteran Study at Yale

    157 Church Street

    New Haven, CT 06510

    United States

Research Summary

Dr Cooper is a British trained clinical psychologist and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale University Department of Psychiatry. Previously she was Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University where she was jointly responsible for management of the internationally recognized Centre for Research on Eating Disorders at Oxford (CREDO). Funded for many years by the Wellcome Trust, the centre studied various aspects of eating disorders, including their diagnosis and classification, their characterization and measurement, their aetiology and course and most importantly their treatment. In particular it specialized in the development and evaluation of treatments for eating disorders and obesity. The centre was responsible for the development of the transdiagnostic treatment for eating disorders, one of the leading evidence-based treatments endorsed by the influential UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines and the development of a universally used and accepted standardized method of assessing eating disorder psychopathology. While at Oxford, funded by a strategic award from the Wellcome Trust, Dr Cooper jointly established a centre for research on the dissemination of evidence -based treatments and directed the research on measuring clinician competence and evaluating clinician training. Her ongoing research focuses on further treatment development with an emphasis on improving interventions for eating disorders co-occurring with other conditions (e.g., obesity and PTSD). She currently directs the Eating Disorders in Veterans study funded by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). Her other major research focuses on bridging the treatment gap by making treatment and provider training more accessible and studying ways to assess clinician and non specialist provider competence.


Extensive Research Description

Current research

Eating Disorders in Veterans: Prevalence, Comorbidity, Risk and Health Care Use

The study aims to establish within a cohort of Veterans who were separated from service within the past year: the prevalence of full/subthreshold eating disorders among male and female Veterans; examine temporal associations among these disorders and comorbid disorders; document treatment patterns and healthcare preferences; identify barriers to care for those seeking mental health treatment; identify and investigate the role of general and military/Veteran-specific risk factors and validate two existing screening measures for eating disorder

Enabling translation of Science to Service to ENhance Depression CarE

Disseminating and implementing evidence based depression care in India. Dr. Cooper is working closely with Professor Vikram Patel and his research team (Harvard Medical School) to ensure the successful development (completed) and validation (ongoing) of a brief and scalable measure of non-specialist health worker competence for delivering evidence-based treatment for depression in primary care settings in Madhya Pradesh as part of a larger project to scale up care.

Extending the availability of treatment for eating disorders

Current projects with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) in US and the UK counterpart (BEAT) to evaluate feasibility and acceptability of guided self help delivered through their respective helplines. Similar projects with colleagues at the University of Washington.


Research Interests

Psychiatry and Psychology

Selected Publications