Adolescents with bulimia nervosa and eating disorder not otherwise specified-purging only

Roslyn B Binford, Daniel le Grange
International Journal of Eating Disorders 2005, 38 (2): 157-61

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to better understand the phenomenology of bulimic symptomatology in an adolescent clinic sample.

METHOD: Adolescents with bulimia nervosa (BN; n = 36) and eating disorders not otherwise specified-purging but no objective bulimic episodes (EDNOS-P; n = 20) were compared on the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), and the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children (K-SADS).

RESULTS: Subjects with EDNOS-P and BN were equivalent in terms of age and weight, but were less likely to have intact families. Nearly one half of EDNOS-P subjects purged exclusively outside of eating episodes in which they experienced a sense of loss of control. Although still at clinically significant levels, EDNOS-P subjects reported less concerns regarding weight, shape, and eating relative to BN. Groups were not significantly different on psychiatric comorbidity, but differed on self-esteem.

DISCUSSION: Results prompt reappraisal of current criteria of BN to encompass those who purge without binge eating.

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