Key words Eating disorders adolescents
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Results of studies on predictive factors in eating disorders have not been very clear until now. Attention has focused primarily on the predictive value of eating behaviour, duration of illness, comorbidity, and population characteristics for groups with mixed eating disorders, but lately several studies have concentrated on the influence of psychological and personality characteristics. In this 4-year prospective follow-up study of 49 eating-disordered adolescent patients, the predictive value of psychological factors and personality characteristics for the course of eating disorders is determined and discussed. The prognostic power of psychological variables measured by means of the Eating Disorder Inventory and the Dutch Personality Questionnaire is found to be stronger than that of behavioral factors and population characteristics and is different for anorectic and bulimic patients. For restricting anorectics, strong maturity fears predict poor outcome after four years, while for bulimic anorectics a longer duration of illness is related to poor prognosis. For patients with bulimic characteristics low self-esteem at admission is predictive of poor outcome.
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