Emotional Processing Following Recovery from Anorexia Nervosa
Article first published online: 13 JAN 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
European Eating Disorders Review
Special Issue: Emotions in Eating Disorders
Volume 20, Issue 6, pages 502–509, November 2012
How to Cite
Oldershaw, A., DeJong, H., Hambrook, D., Broadbent, H., Tchanturia, K., Treasure, J. and Schmidt, U. (2012), Emotional Processing Following Recovery from Anorexia Nervosa. Eur. Eat. Disorders Rev., 20: 502–509. doi: 10.1002/erv.2153
- Issue published online: 29 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 13 JAN 2012
- NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London
- Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Psychiatry
- King's College London. Grant Number: RP-PG-0606-1043
- Department of Health NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research
- anorexia nervosa;
- distress tolerance;
- emotional processing;
- silencing the self;
- eating disorders;
Evidence suggests that poor emotional processing perpetuates anorexia nervosa (AN); however, emotional processing following recovery and interactions between aspects of processing remain unknown. This study examined beliefs about emotions, emotional tolerance and avoidance and emotion suppression to preserve relationships in recovered AN patients. It also explored whether beliefs about emotion are related to emotional avoidance.
A cross-sectional between-groups design was employed.
Currently ill (n = 40), recovered AN patients (n = 24) and a sample of healthy controls (n = 48) completed measures of clinical and demographic background in addition to the Beliefs About Emotions, Distress Tolerance and Silencing the Self emotional processing questionnaires.
Recovered and healthy control groups were comparable (except for higher externalised self-perception in recovered participants) and both had better emotional processing than current AN patients. Beliefs about emotions correlated with level of emotional avoidance.
This study demonstrates functional levels of emotional processing following recovery from AN. It substantiates models proposing that maladaptive beliefs about emotions link to emotional avoidance and supports inclusion of these factors as treatment foci. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.