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Purging disorder: Psychopathology and treatment outcomes




To characterize a tertiary care treatment-seeking sample and assess post-treatment remission and completion rates for purging disorder (PD).


Consecutively admitted women with PD (n = 122), anorexia nervosa (AN) restricting subtype (AN-R; n = 146), AN binge-purge subtype (AN-B; n = 154), and bulimia nervosa-purging subtype (BN-P; n = 415) were compared on general and eating disorder specific psychopathology. A subsample (n = 256) attended a day treatment program and were assessed for post-treatment remission and completion rates.


PD occurred in 17.3% of eating disorders not otherwise specified and 6.7% of total eating disorder referrals. PD patients were similar to AN-B and BN-P, but had higher levels than AN-R, on general and eating disorder psychopathology. PD individuals did not have different post-treatment remission or completion rates compared to other eating disorders.


The results add to a growing literature on the utility of PD as a diagnosis. © 2011 by Wiley Periodicals,Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)