Sex differences in the effects of residential treatment on the quality of life of eating disorder patients

  • Theodore Weltzin
  • Pamela Bean
  • Eric Klosterman
  • Han-Joo Lee
  • Robyn Welk-Richards
Original Article



This study compared the effects of residential treatment on improving health-related quality of life (HRQOL) between males and females diagnosed with eating disorders (EDs) from admission to discharge and at follow-up. This study also analyzed the association between changes in HRQOL and changes in the severity of ED pathology, depression, and trait anxiety.


145 consecutive patients (34 males and 111 females) admitted to a residential ED unit completed a panel of surveys at admission and discharge. The survey panel included the Eating Disorders Quality of Life Survey (EDQLS), the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire, the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. An online follow-up survey was also conducted for the EDQLS. Mixed-factorial ANOVA was used to examine sex differences and changes in HRQOL between admission, discharge and post-treatment follow-up. Multiple regression analysis was used to investigate the relationship between sex, change in HRQOL, and changes in all other variables studied.


By the end of residential treatment, both males and females had made similar statistically significant improvements in HRQOL from admission to discharge, which persisted after treatment. Greater decreases in ED pathology and trait anxiety significantly predicted greater increases in HRQOL during residential treatment while sex and changes in depression did not.


The data show that residential treatment is an effective approach to improving HRQOL in both males and females with EDs. Greater improvements in trait anxiety and ED pathology contributed to greater improvement in HRQOL in these patients.


Quality of life Residential eating disorder treatment 


Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore Weltzin
    • 1
  • Pamela Bean
    • 2
  • Eric Klosterman
    • 2
  • Han-Joo Lee
    • 3
  • Robyn Welk-Richards
    • 1
  1. 1.Eating Disorder CenterRogers Memorial HospitalOconomowocUSA
  2. 2.Outcome StudiesRogers Memorial HospitalOconomowocUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin–MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

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