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A pilot study of a new assessment of physical activity in eating disorder patients

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Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIM: In order to get more detailed information about exercise regimes and disturbances among patients with eating disorders, a new self report questionnaire was developed. The Exercise and Eating Disorders (EED) was developed to capture aspects not included in existing questionnaires. The aim of this study was to test the internal consistency and concurrent validity of the EED, and to investigate to what extent the questionnaire discriminates between inpatients and controls. METHOD: Fifty female eating disorder patients (anorexia nervosa n=25, bulimia nervosa n=10, EDNOS n=15) in a specialized inpatient unit and 51 female age-matched student controls were assessed with the EED and the Body Attitude Test (BAT). RESULTS: The results indicate satisfactory internal consistency (Cronbach’s Alpha 0.92) of the sum score of the whole sample. The validity of the EED was supported by the correlation analysis between EED and Body Attitude Test (BAT) (Spearman’s rho=0.84, p<0.01). There was a significant statistical difference between patients and controls in total score and subscales of the EED (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: The preliminary test of the EED questionnaire was promising. It is a short instrument, and seems to distinguish well between patients and controls. EED captures other dimensions of physical activity and exercise disturbances not captured in other questionnaires related to exercise. Further research is needed to test the psychometric properties of EED in bigger samples.

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Correspondence to M. Danielsen RKSF.

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Danielsen, M., Bratberg, G.H. & Rø, Ø. A pilot study of a new assessment of physical activity in eating disorder patients. Eat Weight Disord 17, e70–e77 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03325332

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