Objective and subjective bulimic episodes in the classification of bulimic-type eating disorders: another nail in the coffin of a problematic distinction

Mond, J.M., Latner, J.D., Hay, P.H., Owen, C., and Rodgers, B. (2010) Objective and subjective bulimic episodes in the classification of bulimic-type eating disorders: another nail in the coffin of a problematic distinction. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48 (7). pp. 661-669.

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Abstract

We sought to further explore the validity of the distinction between objective bulimic episodes (OBEs) and subjective bulimic episodes (SBEs) in the study of bulimic-type eating disorders. Drawing on data obtained at the second, interview phase of a large-scale epidemiological study, we identified mutually exclusive subgroups of women with bulimic-type eating disorders who engaged in regular OBEs but not SBEs (n = 37) or regular SBEs but not OBEs (n = 52). These subgroups were compared on a wide range of outcomes, including socio-demographic characteristics, current levels of eating disorder psychopathology, general psychological distress and impairment in role functioning, current and lifetime impairment in quality of life specifically associated with an eating problem, (self)-recognition of an eating problem, health service utilization and use of psychotropic medication. The only difference between groups was that participants who reported regular OBEs were heavier than those who reported regular SBEs. The findings converge with those of previous research in suggesting that bulimic-type eating disorders characterized by regular SBEs, but not OBEs, do not differ in any clinically meaningful way from those characterized by regular OBEs, but not SBEs. Inclusion of bulimic-type eating disorders characterized by regular SBEs as a provisional category requiring further research in DSM-V appears warranted.

Item ID: 11724
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-622X
Keywords: eating disorders; bulimia nervosa; binge eating disorder; objective bulimic episodes; subjective bulimic episodes; DSM-V
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Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2010 04:50
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics > 111104 Public Nutrition Intervention @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
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