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Br J Psychiatry. 1995 Apr;166(4):472-4.

Defining subgroups of dieting disorder patients by means of the Eating Disorders Examination (EDE).

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.



It is important to determine the optimal manner of categorising eating disorder patients so as to aid in the understanding of their specific psychopathological state.


We compared subgroups of eating disorder patients divided according to different sets of factors, using a structured interview which elicits the specific psychopathological features of these illnesses. The patients, comprising 116 consecutive women admitted to two university-affiliated eating disorder clinics, were grouped according to DSM-III-R criteria, clinical presentation (purging, binge eating), nutritional status, and age.


The clearest separation of groups was afforded by the clinical dimension of purging as opposed to not purging. This was superior to DSM-III-R criteria. Other systems, such as presence of binge eating, and various levels of nutritional status and of age, were clearly inferior.


The presence or absence of purging behaviour appears to offer the most heuristic means of categorising eating disorder patients with respect to their specific psychopathological state.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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