Depression, worry, and psychosocial functioning predict eating disorder treatment outcomes in a residential and partial hospitalization setting

  • Laura K. Fewell
  • Cheri A. LevinsonEmail author
  • Lynn Stark
Original Article


This retrospective study explores depression, worry, psychosocial functioning, and change in body mass index (BMI) as predictors of eating disorder (ED) symptomatology and BMI at discharge and 1-year follow-up from a residential and partial hospitalization ED treatment center. Participants were 423 male and female patients receiving treatment at an ED treatment center. Results indicate significant improvement in ED symptomatology, psychological impairment, and change in BMI (in patients with anorexia nervosa) at treatment discharge and follow-up compared to treatment admission (ps < 0.001). Depression and worry predicted ED symptomatology and psychological impairment at discharge (ps < 0.05). Depression, worry, and psychosocial functioning predicted ED symptomatology and psychological impairment at 1-year follow-up (ps < 0.001). Change in BMI was not a significant predictor of outcome. Depression, worry, and psychosocial functioning each play a role in treatment outcomes and may help clarify who might benefit from treatment. Clinicians in ED treatment centers should consider these as areas of focus for improved outcomes.


Eating disorder Predictor Treatment outcome Depression Anxiety Worry 



The authors would like to thank Kim McCallum for her assistance with this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

LF was an employee and LS was the Chief Executive Officer of the eating disorder clinic where data were collected in the present study.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This retrospective study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Washington University in St. Louis.

Informed consent

We submitted an IRB for this study to Washington University in St. Louis and the IRB deemed this study to not need IRB approval due to its retroactive nature.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura K. Fewell
    • 1
  • Cheri A. Levinson
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Lynn Stark
    • 1
  1. 1.McCallum Place Eating Disorder CentersSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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