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Keywords:

  • ecologic momentary assessment;
  • eating disorders;
  • Eating Disorder Examination;
  • excessive exercise

Abstract

Objective

This pilot study evaluated the feasibility of ecologic momentary assessment (EMA) to measure five eating disorder behaviors and to examine reactivity of these behaviors to this measurement approach. The pattern of correspondence between EMA and the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) was also examined.

Methods

Women with threshold or subthreshold anorexia and bulimia nervosa (N = 16) recorded their eating disorder behaviors for 4 weeks on a hand-held computer. Upon completion of the EMA procedure, the EDE was administered.

Results

Eighty-eight percent of the sample completed the EMA behavioral recording. No differences in behavioral frequency were found in the first and second halves of the EMA measurement period, suggesting that behaviors were not reactive to the methodology. Binging and excessive exercise were lower when measured by EMA compared with the EDE.

Discussion

These results suggest that EMA is a feasible and valid approach to the measurement of disordered eating behaviors. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: 349–360, 2003.