Nonfat phobic anorexia nervosa: Clinical characteristics and response to inpatient treatment

Authors

  • Jacqueline C. Carter PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Eating Disorders Program, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
    2. Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    • Toronto General Hospital, 200 Elizabeth Street, EN8-241, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2C4, Canada
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  • Carmen V. Bewell-Weiss MA

    1. Eating Disorders Program, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
    2. Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Canada
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  • Supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to compare patients admitted to a specialized inpatient program for anorexia nervosa (AN) with and without a fear of weight gain in terms of specific eating disorder symptoms, general psychopathology, and treatment outcome.

Method:

Measures of specific and general psychopathology were administered at admission to and discharge from the inpatient program. Of the 138 participants, 81% (n = 112) were categorized as having clinical levels of “fear of weight gain” and 19% (n = 26) were categorized as having subclinical levels of this feature.

Results:

The subclinical-level group had lower scores on measures of eating disorder psychopathology, depression, general psychiatric disturbance, and obsessive-compulsive symptomatology, but higher self-esteem scores. There were no differences found in terms of age of onset of AN, duration of illness, AN subtype, body mass index, or treatment outcome.

Discussion:

The current findings provide evidence that underweight patients who deny a fear of weight gain are less disturbed in terms of both eating disorder pathology and general psychopathology. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2011; 44:220–224)

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