[Analysis of demographic data and family relationships in women with bulimia]

Beata Pawłowska, Marek Masiak
Psychiatria Polska 2007, 41 (3): 365-76

AIM: The aim of this study was an analysis of data collected from the case histories of female patients with a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa, who underwent medical treatment at the Psychiatry Department of the Medical University of Lublin in the years 1993-2003.

METHODS: 53 female patients with a mean age of 22 years, the age of disease onset--17.5 years, and mean BMI = 22.3. In this group 58.5% of the patients had secondary level education, primary level--24.5%, vocational--3.8% and higher level education--7%. Most patients were city inhabitants (64.2%), and lived together with their parents (85%).

RESULTS: Half of the patients were brought up in a complete family, whilst the most frequent cause of being brought up by a single parent was the death of the other parent (26.4%). In this group 54.7% of the patients continued their studies, 13.2% worked and 32% were unemployed. More than half of the patients assessed their relationship both with their fathers (54.7%) and their mothers (58.5%) negatively. 20.8% of the patients were victims of physical violence and 18.8%--of sexual abuse. Alcohol was abused by 56.6% of their fathers, 7.5% of their mothers and 18.6% of the patients themselves. A life history of suicide was present in 13.2% of the patients. More mothers (13.2%) compared to the patients' fathers (1.9%), suffered from chronic somatic diseases and mental disturbances; 3.8% of the patients' siblings developed eating disorders. In conclusions we compared data received from patients with anorexia nervosa with data from patients with bulimia.

CONCLUSIONS: Female patients with a purging type of anorexia are similar to female patients with bulimia in many socio-demographic factors, and at the same time they differ from female patients with a restricting type of anorexia.

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