Date: 26 Jul 2013

Predictive factors of social disability in anorexic and bulimic patients

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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine whether subjects suffering from anorexia nervosa (AN) or bulimia nervosa (BN) would demonstrate more severe social disability than a control group; and whether social disability could be best explained as a function of the eating disorder itself or as a function of comorbid anxiety or depressive disorders. Method: Subjects were166 AN subjects, 105 BN subjects and 271 control subjects matched for age, sex and socio-economic status. Prevalence of anxiety or depressive disorders was assessed (through the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview), and social functioning was measured (through the Groningen scale). Results: The majority of AN and BN subjects demonstrated social disability in the “social role” (leisure time, time spent with friends) and the “occupational role” (work or educational activities). A regression analysis was employed to uncover predictive factors of social disability. Eating disorders (AN and BN), anxiety disorders and depression accounted for a large portion of social disability. Discussion: Anxiety and depressive disorders appear to play an important role in the type of social disability demonstrated in eating disorder patients. Therapeutic implications are discussed.