The development of the P-CAN, a measure to operationalize the pros and cons of anorexia nervosa

Authors

  • Lucy Serpell,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mental Health, St. Georges Hospital Medical School, London
    2. Huntercombe Manor Hospital, Berkshire, United Kingdom
    3. Eating Disorders Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London, United Kingdom
    • Early Onset Eating Disorders Team, Department of Psychiatry, St. Georges Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE
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  • John D. Teasdale,

    1. MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom
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  • Nicholas A. Troop,

    1. Department of Psychology, London Metropolitan University, London, United Kingdom
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  • Janet Treasure

    1. Department of Psychology, London Metropolitan University, London, United Kingdom
    2. Eating Disorders Unit, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom
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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.

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