, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 545-552

Changes in health related quality of life among patients treated for eating disorders

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Abstract

Objective: To prospectively investigate changes in the perception of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among eating disorder patients after 2 years of treatment and follow-up and clinical predictors of change. Method: One hundred and thirty-one consecutive subjects were recruited from an eating disorder outpatient clinic. Subjects completed a generic HRQoL questionnaire, the Short Form-36 (SF-36), as well as the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-40) to measure symptom severity and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD), at the first visit and after 24 months. Results: Perception of HRQoL, measured by the SF-36, showed significant improvement in all but the role emotional domain after 2 years. The greatest improvements were observed in the physical function and social function domains, followed by mental health and vitality. Despite significant improvement in the summary mental health scale, scores after 2 years of treatment and follow-up were still below normative population values of women aged 18–34. Severity of eating disorder symptoms and presence of anxiety or depression at baseline significantly affected improvement in various SF-36 domains. Conclusions: Despite improvements in perception of HRQoL, eating disorder patients were more dysfunctional in all domains of the SF-36 even after 2 years of treatment and follow-up compared with women in the general population, and the severity of eating disorder symptoms was correlated with degree of dysfunction.