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J Psychosom Res. 1994 Oct;38(7):773-82.

Depression in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: discriminating depressive symptoms and episodes.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto Hospital, Canada.


In a clinical sample of 198 female patients with anorexia nervosa (N = 83) and bulimia nervosa (N = 115), 43% met criteria for major depression using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSMIII-R. This group had a mean score of 30.9 +/- 8.7 on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) which was significantly higher than the BDI mean score of 20.5 +/- 8.9 among the remainder of the sample (p < 0.0001). A score of 26 yielded the highest levels of sensitivity and specificity, while five items from the BDI (loss of satisfaction, discouragement, weight loss, suicidal ideation and decision-making) correctly classified approximately 80% of subjects into "depression-positive" or "depression-negative" categories. Detection of co-morbid depression in patients with eating disorders may have practical implications for treatment.

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