Health-Related Quality of Life in Women with Eating Disorders: Association with Subjective and Objective Binge Eating

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Abstract

This study examined health-related quality of life (QOL) and its association with different forms of binge eating in 53 women with eating disorders. Participants had enrolled in treatment for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or other eating disorders not otherwise specified and completed measures of QOL, eating-related psychopathology, and mood disturbance. Eating- and mood-related psychopathology, and to a lesser extent, mental-component QOL scores, were severely impaired in this sample relative to population norms. QOL was significantly and independently predicted by subjective bulimic episodes and compensatory behaviors, including food avoidance, laxative abuse, and self-induced vomiting, accounting for 32% of the variance. Subjective bulimic episodes and food avoidance also independently predicted the physical-component QOL, accounting for 27% of the variance. These findings suggest that subjective bulimic episodes may be independently associated with impairment in QOL and may require specific attention as targets of treatment.