Development of an instrument to assess readiness to recover in anorexia nervosa




The degree to which patients with anorexia nervosa demonstrate readiness to recover from their illness has received scant theoretical or empirical attention. Investigating the prevalence and degree of amotivation for recovery in anorexia nervosa, its role in outcome, and the effectiveness of interventions designed to enhance readiness to recover necessitates the existence of a reliable and valid measure of motivational issues relevant to the disorder. The present study aimed to develop and evaluate an instrument for assessing readiness to recover in anorexia nervosa, namely, the Anorexia Nervosa Stages of Change Questionnaire (ANSOCQ), a 23-item self-report questionnaire based on Prochaska and DiClemente's stages of change model.


Seventy-one inpatients with anorexia nervosa participated in the study. On several occasions during their admission, participants completed the ANSOCQ as well as questionnaires assessing readiness to recover, anorexic symptomatology, general distress, and social desirability.


The ANSOCQ demonstrated good internal consistency (.90) and 1-week test-retest reliability (.89). Various aspects of validity were also supported, such as significant relationships with other instruments assessing readiness to recover and the prediction of weight gain during different periods of treatment.


The results suggest that the ANSOCQ is a psychometrically sound instrument that may prove useful in investigating the role of readiness to recover in anorexia nervosa. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 28: 387–396, 2000.