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Int J Eat Disord. 2008 May;41(4):368-71. doi: 10.1002/eat.20513.

Readiness to change mediates the impact of eating disorder symptomatology on treatment outcome in anorexia nervosa.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



The aim of the present study was to determine if readiness to change eating and weight was predictive of anorexia nervosa (AN) inpatient treatment outcome, and whether it mediates the relationships between AN treatment outcome and other known predictors of outcome.


Participants were 127 patients with AN who were consecutively admitted to an intensive in-patient treatment program. They completed the Eating Disorder Inventory at admission and a measure of readiness to change after 4 weeks of treatment.


Readiness to change significantly predicted treatment outcome, even after controlling for level of eating disorder symptomatology at admission and AN subtype. It was also found to fully mediate the relationship between eating disorder symptomatology at admission and later treatment outcome.


These findings suggest not only that readiness to make changes is an important indicator of future inpatient treatment outcome, but that it is the mechanism by which eating disorder symptomatology predicts success in a treatment program.

Copyright 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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