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Keywords:

  • quality of life;
  • disease-specific;
  • eating disorder;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • eating disorder not otherwise specified

ABSTRACT

Objective

Compare general and disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among female patients with an eating disorder (ED).

Method

Female patients (n = 221; 95.3% Caucasian; 94.0% never married) completed the Medical Outcome Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and Eating Disorders Quality of Life (EDQoL) as part of a study of treatment outcomes. Multivariate regression models were used to compare HRQoL differences across initial ED diagnosis (85 AN-R, 19 AN-B/P, 27 BN, 90 EDNOS) and ED diagnostic classification at time of outcome assessment (140 no ED, 38 subthreshold ED, 43 full threshold ED).

Results

There were no significant differences across ED diagnosis at initial assessment on either of the SF-36 Component Summary scores. However, patients with AN-B/P scored poorer on the work/school EDQoL subscales than other ED diagnoses, and on the psychological EDQoL subscale compared to AN-R and EDNOS. At outcome assessment, comparisons across full threshold, subthreshold and no ED classification indicated that those with no ED reported better HRQoL than those with full threshold ED on the SF-36 Mental Components Summary and three of four EDQoL subscales. Furthermore, those with no ED reported better psychological HRQoL than those with subthreshold ED.

Discussion

Disease-specific HRQOL measures are important to use when comparing HRQoL in ED patients across treatment and outcome, and may have the sensitivity to detect meaningful differences by diagnosis more so than generic instruments. EDQoL scores from patients remitted from symptoms approach but do not reach scores for unaffected college females; thus, treatment should continue until quality of life is restored. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014; 47:259–267)