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Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • egosyntonic;
  • questionnaire;
  • principal components analysis;
  • eating disorder;
  • motivation

Abstract

Objective

Research has suggested that a fundamental aspect of anorexia nervosa (AN) is its egosyntonic nature, the fact that it is often valued by individuals with the disorder. The current study describes the development of the P-CAN, a quantitative measure of both positive (valued) and negative aspects of AN.

Method

Items were derived from a previous qualitative study (Serpell, Treasure, Teasdale, & Sullivan. 1999. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 25, 177–186). Data from 233 women with AN were subjected to a principal components analysis.

Results

Ten subscales were identified, six describing the pros of AN and four describing the cons of the illness.

Discussion

The P-CAN shows good psychometric properties and should prove a useful tool for the measurement of attitudes towards AN, as well as offer insights into the maintenance of the disorder. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 36: 416–433, 2004.