Broad categories for the diagnosis of eating disorders (BCD-ED): An alternative system for classification

Authors

  • B. Timothy Walsh MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York
    2. Division of Clinical Therapeutics, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York
    • Columbia Center for Eating Disorders, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 98, New York, New York 10032
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  • Robyn Sysko PhD

    1. Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York
    2. Division of Clinical Therapeutics, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York
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Abstract

Objective:

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), a residual category in DSM-IV, is the most commonly used eating disorder diagnosis in clinical settings. A diagnostic scheme, termed Broad Categories for the Diagnosis of Eating Disorders (BCD-ED), is proposed to diminish use of the EDNOS category while preserving the existing eating disorder categories. The objective of this review was to examine the advantages and disadvantages of adopting this scheme for DSM-V.

Method:

We reviewed published studies to assess the proportion of individuals with DSM-IV EDNOS that would be reclassified under the BCD-ED system, support for the hierarchy of the three categories, and the potential risk of “overdiagnosis.”

Results:

Adopting the BCD-ED scheme would have both advantages and disadvantages, but would likely substantially reduce the number of individuals who would receive an EDNOS diagnosis.

Discussion:

BCD-ED is a potential method of addressing the high frequency of EDNOS, but would be a major change in how eating disorders are categorized. © 2009 American Psychiatric Association. Int J Eat Disord 2009

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