Eating disorders symptomatology and inpatient treatment experience in eating-disordered subjects




This study aimed to examine whether eating disorder (ED) subjects with and without a history of inpatient treatment differ in the severity of symptoms as measured by the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI-1).


In a sample of 222 women (66 women with anorexia nervosa, 126 women with bulimia nervosa, and 30 women with eating disorders not otherwise specified), the history of inpatient treatment was assessed and the EDI was administered.


Fifty percent of the participants had received previous inpatient treatment. The group with past inpatient treatment had significantly higher scores on the EDI subscales Body Dissatisfaction, Ineffectiveness, and Interpersonal Distrust than the group without inpatient treatment experience.


ED subjects with and without inpatient treatment showed different profiles on the EDI subscales. The fact that these two groups differ in specific ED symptoms may represent a bias in ED studies when samples with heterogeneous treatment contact history are recruited. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 35: 161–168, 2004.