Eating disorder symptoms and quality of life: Where should clinicians place their focus in severe and enduring anorexia nervosa?

Bryony Bamford (Lead Author), Christina Barras, Richard Sly, Colleen Stiles-Shields, Stephen Touyz, Daniel Le Grange, Phillipa Hay, Ross Crosby, Hubert Lacey

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53 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between quality of life (QoL), weight, and eating disorder symptoms across treatment in individuals with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa (SE-AN).

Participants were 63 adult females with SE-AN presenting to an outpatient, multisite randomized clinical trial. QoL was assessed using three well-validated QoL questionnaire measures, the EDQOL, SF-12, and WSAS. Participants' weight and severity of symptoms was assessed by Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) and weekly BMI change.

Predictors of QoL were evaluated in the context of concurrent, prospective,1 and lagged mixed-effects models. Changes in both BMI and EDE were found to significantly affect current and future QoL ratings.

Findings suggest that improvements in QoL may be dependent on symptom change and weight gain. Treatments seeking solely to improve QoL may be unlikely to produce lasting change and clinicians should maintain a focus on weight and behavioral symptoms as much as on improvements in QoL.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • anorexia nervosa
  • severe and enduring
  • quality of life
  • treatment outcome

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