Women with bulimic eating disorders: When do they receive treatment for an eating problem?

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Variables associated with the use of health services were examined in a prospective, community-based study of women with bulimic-type eating disorders who did (n = 33) or did not (n = 58) receive treatment for an eating problem during a 12-month follow-up period. Participants who received treatment for an eating problem differed from those who did not in several respects, including higher body weight, higher levels of eating disorder psychopathology, general psychological distress, and impairment in role functioning, deficits in specific aspects of coping style, greater awareness of an eating problem, and greater likelihood of prior treatment for a problem with weight. However, the variables most strongly associated with treatment seeking were greater perceived impairment in role functioning specifically associated with an eating problem and greater perceived inability to suppress emotional difficulties. These were the only variables that were significantly associated with treatment seeking in multivariable analysis. The findings suggest that individuals' recognition of the adverse effects of eating-disordered behavior on quality of life may need to be addressed in prevention and early intervention programs for eating disorders.

AuthorMond, J. M.; Hay, Phillipa P. J.; Darby, Anita M.; Paxton, S. J.; Quirk, F.; Buttner, P.; Owen, C. & Rodgers, B.
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Volume77(5):835-844
Year2009

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