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Keywords:

  • eating disorders;
  • purging;
  • EDE;
  • EDE-Q

Abstract

Objective and Methods

Agreement between self-report and interview assessment of purging behaviours was examined in a community sample of women with a high level of eating disorder symptoms (n = 324) who completed both the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) and Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q).

Results

Of 46 individuals who reported any use of self-induced vomiting or laxative misuse on the questionnaire, 19 (41.7%) denied these behaviours when subsequently questioned in a face-to-face interview. These individuals had lower levels of eating disorder psychopathology, functional impairment and general psychological distress, than participants who reported purging on both the questionnaire and at interview (n = 27).

Conclusions

The assumption of interview superiority in the assessment of specific aspects of eating disorder psychopathology should not be uncritically accepted. Caution should be exercised in drawing conclusions concerning the level of agreement between self-report and interview assessment of purging based on research in clinical samples. © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.