Differences in treatment outcome between borderline and nonborderline bulimics at one-year follow-up



Patients (n = 55) seeking treatment for eating disorders were evaluated for eating attitudes and behaviors, weight history, psychiatric symptoms, and presence of borderline personality organization. Patients were divided into borderline (n = 21) and nonborderline (n = 19) subgroups and were compared on the above dimensions after 1 year. There were relatively few differences between borderline and nonborderline bulimics in severity of symptomatic eating behavior and attitudes at the initial evaluation. However, the borderline patients were significantly more disturbed on a number of relevant dimensions, including general psychiatric symptoms. Follow-up assessment showed that although most patients in the nonborderline group remitted their symptoms, patients in the borderline group continued to demonstrate clinically significant levels of disturbed eating patterns, Drive-for-Thinness, Body Dissatisfaction, and depression. The clinical and research implications for these findings are discussed.