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Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • eating disorders;
  • motivation;
  • assessment;
  • therapy

Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study was to understand the clinical impact of the motivational stage of change on the psychopathology and symptomatology of anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN) and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS).

Method

The participants were 218 eating disorder (ED) patients (58 AN, 95 BN and 65 EDNOS), consecutively admitted to our hospital. All patients fulfilled DSM-IV criteria for these disorders.

Assessment

Assessment measures included the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI), Bulimic Investigation Test Edinburgh (BITE), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), four analogue scales of motivational stage, as well as a number of other clinical and psychopathological indices.

Results

Our results indicated higher motivation for change in BN than in AN and EDNOS patients (p < 0.05). For all groups, motivation to change was predicted by chronological age (p < 0.05). However, a longer duration of illness was only predictive of the motivational levels in EDNOS (p < 0.05) patients.

Conclusions

Compared to BN, AN and EDNOS patients are most resistant to change and the younger these patients are, the less likely they are to be motivated to change their disturbed eating behaviour. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.