Eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS): profiles of clients presenting at a community eating disorder service




A substantial proportion of eating disorder presentations receive a DSM-IV diagnosis of eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), yet research comparing EDNOS with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) is limited. The aim of this study was to further investigate EDNOS in clients at a UK Community Eating Disorder Service.


The Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) was used to generate DSM-IV diagnoses. Clinical profiles of EDNOS clients are compared with those of patients with AN and BN and cluster analysis used to identify subgroups based on presenting features rather than diagnosis.


190 of 200 participants had a clinical eating disorder: 11 had AN, 45 had BN, 134 had EDNOS. Cluster analysis suggested four subgroups within the clinical sample: three with similar cognitive psychopathology but varied behavioural presentation, and one with less severe cognitive and behavioural features, but low mean BMI.


These results highlight the need for further investigation into EDNOS and its usefulness as a diagnosis. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.