, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 667-674

The health-related quality of life in eating disorders

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Objective: This study investigated the perception of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in ambulatory patients with eating disorders in relation to the severity of eating symptomatology and psychological comorbidity. Methods: One hundred ninety-seven study patients were consecutively recruited at the Eating Disorders Outpatient Clinic. Short Form-36 items (SF-36), a generic HRQoL questionnaire, the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-40), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD) were used to measure different aspects of HRQoL. The results of the SF-36 were compared with the norms of the Spanish general population for women 18–34 years of age. Results: Patients with eating disorders were more dysfunctional in all areas of the SF-36 compared with women in the general population. There were no differences among the eating disorder diagnostic groups. Higher scores on the EAT-40 and the HAD were associated with a perception of greater impairment on all SF-36 subscales. Conclusion: The evaluation of HRQoL in these patients confirms the impact of these disorders on daily life in areas not directly related to eating disorders. The SF-36 is useful for discriminating among different levels of severity of eating disorders and other psychological comorbidities of these patients.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.