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Orthorexia nervosa: Validation of a diagnosis questionnaire

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Aim: To validate a questionnaire for the diagnosis of orhorexia oervosa, an eating disorder defined as “maniacal obsession for healthy food”. Materials and Methods: 525 subjects were enrolled. Then they were randomized into two samples (sample of 404 subjects for the construction of the test for the diagnosis of orthorexia ORTO-15; sample of 121 subjects for the validation of the test). The ORTO-15 questionnaire, validated for the diagnosis of orthorexia, is made-up of 15 multiple-choice items. Results and Conclusion: The test we proposed for the diagnosis of orthorexia (ORTO 15) showed a good predictive capability at a threshold value of 40 (efficacy 73.8%, sensitivity 55.6% and specificity 75.8%) also on verification with a control sample. However, it has a limit in identifying the obsessive disorder. For this reason we maintain that further investigation is necessary and that new questions useful for the evaluation of the obsessive-compulsive behavior should be added to the ORTO-15 questionnaire.

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Correspondence to L. M. Donini MD PhD.

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Donini, L.M., Marsili, D., Graziani, M.P. et al. Orthorexia nervosa: Validation of a diagnosis questionnaire. Eat Weight Disord 10, e28–e32 (2005).

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