Assessment of patients with anorexia nervosa: Interview versus self-report

Authors

  • Sara L. Wolk PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York
    • Eating Disorders Research Unit, NY State Psychiatric Institute-Unit 98, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032
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  • Katharine L. Loeb PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York
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  • B. Timothy Walsh MD

    1. Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York
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Abstract

Objective

The current study compared the agreement between the Eating Disorders Examination (EDE) and the Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q) in the diagnosis and assessment of eating disorder pathology in a sample of women with anorexia nervosa.

Method

First, a physician administered a clinical interview to each patient. Then, before hospital admission, all subjects were given the EDE-Q and the EDE interview.

Results

Results indicate that agreement between the EDE and the EDE-Q on the individual items informing the overall diagnosis of anorexia nervosa ranges from low to moderate. Agreement for the overall diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and for the binge/purge subtype was more impressive. Although correlations between subscale scores as well as eating disorder behaviors were strong, higher levels of disturbance were consistently reported on the EDE-Q than on the EDE interview.

Discussion

The pattern of findings suggests that the EDE-Q may be used in place of the interviewer-based measure when assessing overall diagnosis and subtype, as well as specific, well-defined features (vomiting/laxative use). However, there was a low level of agreement with respect to less-defined features, like binge eating, for which significantly higher frequencies were generated by the self-report questionnaire. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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