Validity of the Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire when used with adolescents with bulimia nervosa and atypical bulimia nervosa



OBJECTIVE: To validate the online questionnaire form of the Eating Disorders Examination (EDE-Q) against the interview version (EDE) in a clinic and community sample of adolescents with bulimia nervosa (BN) or atypical BN (eating disorder not otherwise specified with bulimic features — EDNOS-BN). Method: Adolescents with BN (N=58) or EDNOS-BN (N=37) completed the EDE over the telephone and the EDE-Q online. Results: There were moderate to high correlations between the attitudinal scales. Eating was rated as more pathological on the EDE-Q than the EDE, except dietary restraint. As in research among adults, agreement between the two measures was low regarding binge eating episodes, but better for vomiting episodes. When compared with the EDE, the EDE-Q attitudinal scales were more valid for BN than for EDNOS-BN patients, and more valid for the clinic sample. Conclusion: The online version of the EDE-Q has partial validity for use with adolescents. The EDE-Q might be reporting a more accurate description of current status, as it avoids possible filtering and approval aspects.

Key words

Eating disorders examination online assessment bulimia nervosa eating disorders not otherwise specified adolescents 


  1. 1.
    Cooper Z., Fairburn C.G.: The Eating Disorders Examination: a semi-structured interview for the assessment of the specific psychopathology of eating disorders. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 6, 1–8, 1987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fairburn C.G., Cooper Z.: The Eating Disorders Examination. In: Fairburn C.G., Wilson G.T. (Eds.), Binge eating: nature, assessment and treatment. 12th ed. New York, Guildford Press, 1993, pp. 317–360.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fairburn C.G., Beglin S.J.: Assessment of the eating disorders: Interview or self-report questionnaire? Int. J. Eat. Disord., 16, 363–370, 1994.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wolk S.L., Loeb K.L., Walsh B.T.: Assessment of patients with anorexia nervosa: Interview versus selfreport. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 37, 92–99, 2005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Carter J., Aime A., Mills J.: Assessment of bulimia nervosa: a comparison of interview and self-report questionnaire methods. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 30, 187–192, 2001.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sysko R.B., Walsh T., Fairburn C.G.: Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire as a measure of change in patients with bulimia nervosa. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 37, 100–106, 2005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Grilo C.M., Masheb R.M., Wilson G.T.: A comparison of different methods for assessing the features of eating disorders in patients with binge eating disorder. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol., 69, 317–322, 2001.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Grilo C.M., Masheb R.M., Wilson G.T.: Different methods for assessing features of eating disorders in patients with binge eating disorder: a replication. Obes. Res., 9, 418–422, 2001.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wilfley D.E., Schwartz M.B., Spurrell E.B., Fairburn C.G.: Assessing the specific psychopathology of binge eating disorder patients: interview or self-report? Behav. Res. Ther., 35, 1151–1159, 1997.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Goldfein J.A., Devlin M.J., Kamenetz C.: Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire with and without instruction to assess binge eating in patients with binge eating disorder. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 37, 107–111, 2005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Black C.M., Wilson G.T.: Assessment of eating disorders: Interview versus questionnaire. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 20, 43–50, 1996.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kalarchian M.A., Wilson G.T., Brolin R.E., Bradley L.: Assessment of eating disorders in bariatric surgery candidates: Self-report questionnaire versus interview. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 28, 465–469, 2000.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    de Zwaan M., Mitchell J.E., Specker S.M., Pyle R.L., Mussell M.P., Seim H.C.: Diagnosing binge eating disorder: Level of agreement between self-report and expert-rating. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 14, 289–295, 1993.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mond J.M., Hay P.J. Rodgers B., Owen C.: Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q): norms for young adult women. Behav. Res. Ther., 44, 53–62, 2006.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Passi V.A., Bryson S.W., Lock J.: Assessment of eating disorders in adolescents with anorexia nervosa: selfreport questionnaire versus interview. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 33, 45–54, 2003.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Binford R.B., LeGrange D., Jellar C.C.: Eating disorders examination versus Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire in adolescents with full and partial-syndrome bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 37, 44–49, 2005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pretorius N., Arcelus J., Beecham J., Dawson H., Doherty F., Eisler I., Gallagher C., Gowers S., Isaacs G., Johnson-Sabine E., Jones A., Newell C., Morris J., Richards L., Ringwood S., Rowlands L., Simic M., Treasure J., Waller G., Williams C., Yi I., Yoshioka M., Schmidt U.: Cognitive-behavioural therapy for adolescents with bulimic symptomatology: the acceptability and effectiveness of internet-based delivery. Behav. Res. Ther., 47, 729–736, 2009.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 4th ed. Washington, DC, APA, 1994.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kent A., Lacey J.H., McCluskey S.E.: Pre-menarchal bulimia nervosa. J. Psychosom. Res., 36, 205–10, 1992.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Keverne E.B.: Understanding well-being in the evolutionary context of brain development. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B. Biol. Sci., 359, 1349–1358, 2004.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Wade T.D., Bergin J.L., Tiggemann M., Bulik C.M., Fairburn C.G.: Prevalence and long-term course of lifetime eating disorders in an adult Australian twin cohort. Aust. N. Z. J. Psychiatry, 40, 121–128, 2006.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rohde P., Lewinsohn P.M., Seeley, J.R.: Comparability of telephone and face-to-face interviews in assessing axis I and II disorders. Am. J. Psychiatry, 154, 1593–1598, 1997.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cooper Z., Cooper P.J., Fairburn C.G.: The validity of the eating disorder examination and its subscales. Br. J. Psychiatry, 154, 807–12, 1989.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Luce K.H., Crowther J.H.: The reliability of the Eating Disorder Examination-Self-Report Questionnaire Version (EDE-Q). Int. J. Eat. Disord., 25, 349–351, 1999.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Peterson C.B., Crosby R.D., Wonderlich S.A., Joiner T., Crow S.J., Mitchell J.E., Bardone-Cone A.M., Klein M., Le Grange D.: Psychometric properties of the eating disorder examination-questionniare: factor structure and internal consistency. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 40, 386–389, 2007.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Couturier J., Lock J., Forsberg S., Vanderheyden D., Lee H.Y.: The addition of a parent and clinician component to the Eating Disorder Examination for children and adolescents. Int. J. Eat. Disord, 40, 472–475, 2007.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Pretorius
    • 1
  • G. Waller
    • 1
  • S. Gowers
    • 2
  • U. Schmidt
    • 1
  1. 1.Eating Disorders Section, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Cheshire & Merseyside Eating Disorders Service for Adolescents, Cheshire & Wirral Partnership TrustUniversity of LiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations