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Keywords:

  • binge eating disorder;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • personality;
  • psycho-pathology;
  • classification

Abstract

Objective

To explore similarities and differences in clinical and personality variables across three groups: binge eating disorder (BED), bulimia nervosa-purging type (BN-P), and bulimia nervosa-non purging type (BN-NP).

Method

The participants were 102 female eating disorders patients (34 BED, 34 BN-P, and 34 BN-NP) consecutively admitted to the eating disorders unit, at the University Hospital of Bellvitge, and diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria.

Results

BED patients were older, and more likely to have personal and family history of obesity. A gradient in psychopathological scores emerged with BN-P patients having higher pathological scores on the SCL-90-R, followed by BN-NP and BED patients. No statistically significant differences were observed in personality traits.

Discussion

Our data supported that eating disorders (namely BED, BN-NP, and BN-P) followed a linear trend in general psychopathology. Whereas personality may represent a shared vulnerability factor, differences in clinical severity suggest there to be a continuum with BN-P being the most severe and BED being the least severe. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2011