Co-occurrence of avoidant personality disorder and child sexual abuse predicts poor outcome in long-standing eating disorder

Karianne R Vrabel, Asle Hoffart, Oyvind Rø, Egil W Martinsen, Jan H Rosenvinge
Journal of Abnormal Psychology 2010, 119 (3): 623-9
Few consistent predictive factors for eating disorder have been identified across studies. In the current 5-year prospective study, the objective was to examine whether (a) personality disorder and child sexual abuse predict the course of severity of eating disorder symptoms after inpatient treatment and (b) how the predictors interact. A total of 74 patients with long-standing eating disorder and mean age of 30 years were assessed at the beginning and end of inpatient therapy and at 1-, 2-, and 5-year follow-up. A mixed model was used to examine the predictors. Avoidant personality disorder and child sexual abuse interacted in predicting high levels of eating disorder over a long-term course. These results suggest that eating disorder, avoidant personality disorder, and sequelae after child sexual abuse are potential targets for treatment that need further investigation.

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