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Can J Psychiatry. 2004 Mar;49(3):179-84.

Psychiatric comorbidity and Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) profiles in eating disorder patients.

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  • 1Psychiatric Department, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.



This study examines potential overlaps between psychiatric comorbidity (Axis I and II) and scores on the subscales of the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) in women with eating disorders (EDs).


In a sample of 248 women (72 with anorexia nervosa, 140 with bulimia nervosa, and 36 with eating disorders not otherwise specified), we determined psychiatric comorbidity using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Behavioural and psychological characteristics of EDs were quantified with the EDI.


Psychiatric comorbidity was high in both axes (74% for Axis I and 68% for Axis II). While most EDI subscales pertaining to psychological traits showed significant associations with Axis I and II disorders, the subscales concerning eating and perception of weight and shape were much less associated with psychiatric comorbidity. Affective and anxiety disorders, as well as personality disorders of clusters A and C, showed a similar pattern with links to most psychological subscales. The profile for substance-related disorders was different, showing associations with the Ineffectiveness and Interoceptive Awareness scales. Personality disorders of cluster B were related only to the Bulimia subscale and not to any of the psychological subscales.


The EDI appears to primarily reflect Axis I and II disorders related to affective and anxiety problems. Clinicians and researchers employing the EDI should be aware that it is not sensitive for all forms of comorbidity prevalent in ED patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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