Given renewed interest in dimensional approaches in psychiatric nosology, we review evidence for the utility of including dimensions of eating disorder (ED) psychopathology, comorbid psychopathology, and neurobiology in the classification of EDs.
We searched on-line databases and reference lists of published papers for articles on dimensional methods in psychiatric classification, with an emphasis on EDs.
ED classification may be enhanced by including dimensional assessments. Specifically, some ED features appear to exist on a continuum with normality, and dimensional measures of ED severity are likely to have utility in clinical contexts. Furthermore, accumulating data support the validity of ED classification schemes that incorporate dimensions of comorbid psychopathology. Finally, neurobiological dimensions have gained increasing notice across the psychiatric literature and may be particularly salient to the classification of EDs.
An approach to ED classification that incorporates multiple dimensional measures may have the greatest utility for advancing ED treatment. © 2013 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013; 46:396–403)