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Psychol Bull. 2009 May;135(3):407-33. doi: 10.1037/a0015326.

The relationship between eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) and officially recognized eating disorders: meta-analysis and implications for DSM.

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Department of Psychology, Yale University, USA.


Eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) is the most prevalent eating disorder (ED) diagnosis. In this meta-analysis, the authors aimed to inform Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders revisions by comparing the psychopathology of EDNOS with that of the officially recognized EDs: anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge eating disorder (BED). A comprehensive literature search identified 125 eligible studies (published and unpublished) appearing in the literature from 1987 to 2007. Random effects analyses indicated that whereas EDNOS did not differ significantly from AN and BED on eating pathology or general psychopathology, BN exhibited greater eating and general psychopathology than EDNOS. Moderator analyses indicated that EDNOS groups who met all diagnostic criteria for AN except for amenorrhea did not differ significantly from full syndrome cases. Similarly, EDNOS groups who met all criteria for BN or BED except for binge frequency did not differ significantly from full syndrome cases. Results suggest that EDNOS represents a set of disorders associated with substantial psychological and physiological morbidity. Although certain EDNOS subtypes could be incorporated into existing Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) categories, others-such as purging disorder and non-fat-phobic AN-may be best conceptualized as distinct syndromes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

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