Theory of mind in bulimia nervosa

Authors

  • Martha Kenyon MSc,

    Corresponding author
    1. Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom
    • P059 (Section of Eating Disorders), Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom

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  • Nelum Samarawickrema BA,

    1. Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom
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  • Hannah DeJong BA,

    1. Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom
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  • Frederique Van den Eynde MD, PhD,

    1. Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom
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  • Helen Startup PhD, DClinPsy,

    1. Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom
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  • Anna Lavender DClinPsy,

    1. Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom
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  • Emily Goodman-Smith MSc,

    1. Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom
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  • Ulrike Schmidt MD, PhD

    1. Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom
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  • The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health.

  • This work was supported by the Swiss Anorexia Nervosa Foundation (Schweizerische Anorexia Nervosa Stiftung, SANS), by the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, by a National Institute of Health Research Programme Grant for Applied Research (RP-PG-0606-1043), and by the Marie Curie Research Training Network INTACT (MRTN-CT-2006-035988), The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

Abstract

Objective:

This study aimed to investigate theory of mind (ToM) in individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN), an area neglected by empirical research despite social functioning difficulties in this disorder and evidence of ToM deficits in people with anorexia nervosa (AN).

Method:

ToM was assessed in 48 BN and 34 Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified BN-type (EDNOS-BN) outpatients and 57 healthy controls (HCs) using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes and the Reading the Mind in the Films (RMF), an ecologically valid task novel to BN research.

Results:

Overall performance in BN and EDNOS-BN groups was equivalent to HCs on both tasks. Individuals with BN had enhanced negative emotion recognition on the RMF.

Discussion:

Individuals with AN and BN have distinct socio-cognitive profiles. Further research into social cognition is required to establish the link between interpersonal difficulties and psychopathology in people with BN. © 2011 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)

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