Alexithymia and body image in adult outpatients with binge eating disorder

Authors

  • Alessandro Carano MD,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
    2. Dietology Service, Villa Torre Medical Center, San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy
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  • Domenico De Berardis MD,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
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  • Francesco Gambi MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
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  • Cinzia Di Paolo BSc,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
    2. Dietology Service, Villa Torre Medical Center, San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy
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  • Daniela Campanella MD,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
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  • Lucia Pelusi MD,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
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  • Gianna Sepede MD,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
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  • Enrico Mancini MD,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Urbino, Urbino, Italy
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  • Raffaella La Rovere MD,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
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  • Gabriele Salini MD,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
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  • Carla Cotellessa BSc,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
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  • Rosa Maria Salerno MD,

    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
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  • Filippo Maria Ferro MD, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. d'Annunzio” of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
    • Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry, University “G. D'Annunzio” of Chieti, Palazzina SE.BI. - Scuole di Specializzazione, via dei Vestini, 31 - 66013 Chieti, Italy
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  • The current study was not funded by any research grants, and no pharmaceutical companies were informed of or involved in the investigation. The authors have no potential conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the contents of the manuscript.

Abstract

Objective

The current study elucidates the relations between alexithymia and body image in patients with binge eating disorder (BED).

Method

One hundred one patients with BED were evaluated. Alexithymia was measured with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). The severity of BED was measured with the Binge Eating Scale (BES). Body concerns were assessed with the Body Shape Questionnaire-Short Version (BSQ-S), the Body Uneasiness Test (BUT), and the Body Attitude Test (BAT). Additional measures were the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).

Results

The prevalence of alexithymia in our sample was 39.6% (n = 40) and individuals with alexithymia showed higher scores on all rating scales. Higher body dissatisfaction, lower self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and the Difficulty in Identifying Feelings/Difficulty in Describing Feelings subscales of the TAS-20 were predictors of the severity of BED in the linear regression analysis.

Conclusion

Alexithymia was associated with more severe BED. Individuals with alexithymia and BED exhibited significantly poorer appearance evaluation and body satisfaction as well as higher depressive symptoms than individuals without alexithymia. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Int J Eat Disord, 2006

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