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Keywords:

  • eating disorders;
  • classification;
  • EDNOS;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • bulimia nervosa

Abstract

Objective

To explore the empirical support for a reclassification of the eating disorders NOS (EDNOS) category.

Methods

In a cross-sectional design eight specific subgroups of EDNOS were compared to anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) on interview-based data and questionnaire measures. The sample consisted of 965 patients in the age 13–54 years admitted to treatment for an eating disorder.

Results

According to the DSM-IV 176(18%) presented with AN, 290(30%) with BN and 499(52%) with EDNOS. Of all EDNOS cases 34% could be reclassified as AN or BN. Three specific subgroups emerged as separate diagnostic entities. A heterogeneous subgroup of 122 patients (13% of all) was proposed as ‘true’ EDNOS. Implications of the results on the DSM-V are discussed.

Conclusions

The results support a broader definition of AN and BN and suggest subgroups of EDNOS as separate diagnostic entities. This results in a substantial reduction of the heterogeneous EDNOS group. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.