Objective: Eating disorders (EDs) can have a serious impact on various life domains and may lead to physical, mental and social impairment and consequently to poor quality of life (QOL). This study compared the QOL of ED patients and former ED patients in a large community based sample to the QOL of a normal reference group and to the QOL of patients with mood disorders. Differences between ED diagnostic groups were examined. The study investigated what factors contribute to QOL.
Methods: A generic health-related quality of life questionnaire, the Short Form-36 (SF-36), and the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire were administered to 156 ED patients – 44 anorexia nervosa patients, 43 bulimia nervosa patients, 69 eating disorder not otherwise specified patients – and 148 former ED patients.
Results: ED patients reported significantly poorer QOL than a normal reference group. No differences were found between the diagnostic groups. Former ED patients still had poorer QOL than a normal reference group. ED patients reported significantly poorer QOL than patients with mood disorders. Self esteem contributed most to QOL.
Conclusion: EDs have a severe impact on many domains of QOL. Therefore QOL needs to be addressed in effectiveness research and clinical practice.
KeywordsEating disorders Patient outcomes Quality of life
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Maj, M, Halmi, K, López-Ibor, JJ, Sartorius, N. 2003Eating DisordersWileyChichesterGoogle Scholar
- 2.Treasure, JSchmidt, UFurth, EF eds. 2003Handbook on Eating DisordersWileyChichesterGoogle Scholar
- 4.Steinhausen, HCVerhulst, FC eds. 1999Risk and Outcomes in Developmental PsychopathologyOxford University PressOxfordGoogle Scholar
- 11.Katschnig, H, Freeman, H, Sartorius, N. 1997Quality of Life in Mental DisordersWileyChichesterGoogle Scholar
- 12.Fairburn, CG, Cooper, Z, Shafran, R. 2002Cognitive behaviour therapy for eating disorders: A ‘transdiagnostic’ theory and treatmentBehav Res Therapy41509529Google Scholar
- 13.American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1994.Google Scholar
- 14.Fairburn CG, Wilson GT. Binge Eating: Nature, Assessment and Treatment. New York, 1993.Google Scholar
- 15.Mond, JM, Hay, PJ, Rodgers, B, Owen, C, Beumont, PJ. 2004Validity of the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) in screening for eating disorders in community samplesBehav Res Therapy42551567Google Scholar
- 16.Ware, JEJ, Snow, KK, Kosinski, MA, Gandek, B. 1993SF-36 Health Survey, Manual and Interpretation GuideThe Health Institute, New England Medical CenterBoston, MAGoogle Scholar
- 17.Ware, JE, Kosinkski, M, Keller, SD. 1994SF-36 Physical and Mental Health Summary Scales: A User’s ManualThe Health Institute, New England Medical CenterBoston, MAGoogle Scholar
- 18.Rosenberg, M. 1989Society and the Adolescent Self-ImageWesleyan University PressMiddletown, CTRevised edGoogle Scholar
- 19.Rosenberg, M. 1986Conceiving the SelfKriegerMalabar, FLGoogle Scholar
- 20.Blascovich, J, Joseph, T. 1993Measures of Self-esteemRobinson, JPShaver, PRWrightsman, LS eds. Measures of Personality and Social Psychological Attitudes.Institute for Social ResearchAnn Arbor, MI115160Google Scholar
- 21.Aaronson, NK, Muller, M, Cohen, PDA, Essink-Bot, ML, Fekkes, M, Sanderman, R, Sprangers, MAG, Velde A, te, Verrips, E. 1998Translation, validation and norming of the Dutch language version of the SF-36 health survey in community and chronic disease populationsJ Clin Epidemiol5110551068PubMedGoogle Scholar
- 22.Horton, RL. 1978The General Linear Model. Data Analysis in the Social and Behavioural SciencesMcGraw-HillNew YorkGoogle Scholar
- 23.Essink-Bot, ML. 1995Health Status as a Measure of Outcome of Disease and TreatmentErasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The NetherlandsHumanitasGoogle Scholar
- 24.Carr, AJ, Gibson, B, Robinson, PG. 2001Is quality of life determined by expectations or experience?Br Med J32212401243Google Scholar
- 25.Carr, AJ, Higginson, IJ. 2001Are quality of life measures patient centred?Br Med J32213571360Google Scholar
- 26.Muldoon, MF, Barger, SD, Manuck, SB. 1998What are quality of life measurements measuring?Br Med J316542545Google Scholar
- 28.van Nieuwenhuizen, CH 2001Quality of Life of Persons with Severe Mental Illness: An InstrumentThesis PublishersAmsterdamGoogle Scholar
- 32.Higginson, IJ, Carr, AJ. 2001Using quality of life measures in the clinical settingBr Med J32212971300Google Scholar