• eating disorders;
  • assessment;
  • treatment outcome



The purpose of this investigation was to establish the criterion validity of the Multiaxial Assessment of Eating Disorders Symptoms (MAEDS). The MAEDS is a brief, comprehensive, self-report measure for the evaluation of eating disorders treatment outcome. It assesses six symptoms associated with eating disorders with subscales for binge eating, purgative behavior, avoidance of forbidden foods, restrictive eating, fear of fatness, and depression.


To establish criterion validity, we compared the subscale scores of the MAEDS across four eating disorder diagnoses, specified by subtype (bulimia nervosa, purging type; anorexia nervosa, binge-eating/purging type; anorexia nervosa, restricting type; and binge eating disorder). Participants who did not meet the full diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder, but who did meet criteria for a partial syndrome eating disorder, were grouped with the full eating disorder diagnostic subtypes.


The criterion validity of the MAEDS was supported by the pattern of subscale scores for the different eating disorder diagnostic groups. Also, with few exceptions, persons diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, in comparison to subthreshold cases of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, had equivalent scores on the subscales of the MAEDS.


These findings support the criterion validity of the MAEDS and add to a growing literature that questions differences in severity of eating disorder symptoms in full syndrome versus partial syndrome cases. © 2000 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 28: 303–310, 2000.