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      The Eating Attitudes Test: an index of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa

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      Psychological Medicine

      Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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          Synopsis

          Data on the development of a 40-item measure of the symptoms in anorexia nervosa are reported. The scale (EAT) is presented in a 6-point, forced choice, self-report format which is easily administered and scored. The EAT was validated using 2 groups of female anorexia nervosa patients ( N = 32 and 33) and female control subjects ( N = 34 and 59). Total EAT score was significantly correlated with criterion group membership( r = 0·87, P < 0·001), suggesting a high level of concurrent validity. There was very little overlap in the frequency distributions of the 2 groups and only 7% of the normal controls scored as high as the lowest anorexic patient. Female obese and male subjects also scored significantly lower on the EAT than anorexics. Recovered anorexic patients scored in the normal range on the test, suggesting that the EAT is sensitive to clinical remission.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Anxiety, restraint, and eating behavior.

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            Value of family background and clinical features as predictors of long-term outcome in anorexia nervosa: four-year follow-up study of 41 patients.

            This is a prognostic study on 41 patients with anorexia nervosa (including three males) who satisfied defined diagnostic criteria. The patients had all been admitted to a metabolic unit where the mainstay of treatment was nursing care aimed at rapid restoration of body weight. A follow-up was conducted after a minimum lapse of four years after each patient's discharge from hospital. The outcome of the patient's illness was expressed in terms of an 'average outcome score' and a 'general outcome'. The series included a relatively high proportion of patients with a long illness who had received previous psychiatric treatment. Their families tended to come from higher social classes; a disturbed relationship with the patient was frequent. Premorbid disturbances in personality development were also common. The immediate response to treatment was excellent, with the majority of the patients returning to a normal weight, but relapses after discharge were common and readmissions were necessary in half the patients. At follow-up, the patients fell into the following defined categories: 'good' (39%), 'intermediate' (27%), 'poor' (29%), died (5%). Most of the patients who failed to recover continued to display the clinical features characteristic of anorexia nervosa. Among predictors of an unfavourable outcome were found a relatively late age of onset, a longer duration of illness, previous admissions to psychiatric hospitals, a disturbed relationship between the patient and other members of the family, and premorbid personality difficulties. It is suggested according to the severity of their illness, rather than on the method of treatment itself. The illness may last several years before eventual improvement or recovery, and a follow-up study must be extended over at least four years to be meaningful. An accurate prediction of eventual outcome is almost impossible, but late recoveries justify an optimistic outlook and continued therapeutic endeavour.
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              Diagnostic Criteria for Use in Psychiatric Research

               John Feighner (1972)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Psychological Medicine
                Psychol. Med.
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                0033-2917
                1469-8978
                May 1979
                July 09 2009
                May 1979
                : 9
                : 2
                : 273-279
                Article
                10.1017/S0033291700030762
                472072
                © 1979

                https://www.cambridge.org/core/terms

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