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Keywords:

  • perfectionism;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale;
  • Eating Disorder Inventory

Abstract

Objective

This study examined the relationship between perfectionism and outcome in anorexia nervosa (AN).

Method

Seventy-three patients received inpatient treatment for AN. Participants completed the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) at admission to (n = 55), at discharge (n = 27), and at a median of 15.9 months (n = 49) after inpatient treatment. At follow-up, participants also completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS) and their scores were compared with those of healthy controls.

Results

EDI Perfectionism was associated with illness status. A lower EDI Perfectionism score at admission was associated with a better response to treatment, which was subsequently associated with better outcome at follow-up. Both the good and poor outcome groups had significantly higher MPS total perfectionism scores than healthy controls.

Discussion

The EDI measures an aspect of perfectionism that is sensitive to illness status, whereas the MPS is less dependent on clinical state and may reflect a common personality trait that persists with remission of disease. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 33: 225–229, 2003.