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Br J Psychiatry. 1985 Sep;147:265-71.

Anorexia nervosa, parental 'expressed emotion' and dropping out of treatment.


The number of dropouts from a long-term treatment study of patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) was substantial. A variety of social, clinical, parental, and treatment factors were examined for their association with early termination of treatment by the patient or the family. Parents' expressed emotion' (EE) (particularly critical comments), BN, and the type of therapy offered (family or individual) were found to interact in some manner to result in dropping out. Some other aspects of parents' EE were also examined, including a comparison of scores in parental pairs; EE was found to be influenced by social class, and there were significant associations with the patient's symptomatology and social adjustment. There was a strong relationship between mothers' and fathers' scores in parental pairs.

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