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J Psychiatr Res. 1994 Sep-Oct;28(5):425-45.

The Yale-Brown-Cornell Eating Disorder Scale: development, use, reliability and validity.

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  • 1Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.


Patients with eating disorders present with a wide range of eating-related preoccupations and or rituals. Yet, eating disorder assessments traditionally have measured a finite number of specific eating-disordered thoughts or actions. The current work presents a new instrument, the Yale-Brown-Cornell Eating Disorder Scale (YBC-EDS), that does not limit assessment to a particular set of eating-related concerns or behaviors. Rather, it assesses the severity of illness associated with an individual's unique symptomatology. Reliability and validity of this new, clinician-rated instrument was tested in two independent samples of DSM-III-R eating disorder patients. The YBC-EDS eight-item scale assessing severity of preoccupations and rituals, and a set of six provisional items for assessing motivation for change were both frequently endorsed and found to have excellent interrater reliability. Internal consistency was shown to be good for the set of eight core items and the set of six items related to motivation for change. The eight-item scale demonstrated aspects of convergent validity with other assessments of eating disorder symptomatology. The set of six provisional items for assessing motivation for change was inversely related to measures to diet restriction, drive for thinness, and body dissatisfaction. This paper presents the eight-item Yale-Brown-Cornell Eating Disorder Scale for assessing illness severity in eating-disordered patients with an extensive range of symptomatology. An accompanying set of six provisional items for assessing motivation for change are also presented. Initial findings showed excellent reliability and indications of validity for both the eight-item YBC-EDS and the set of six provisional items.

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