2007 issue 3


Volume 16, issue 3

Original article

Psychopathological symptoms associated with eating disorders

Cezary Żechowski1
1. Klinika Psychiatrii Dzieci i Młodzieży Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2007; 16 (3): 185-191
Keywords: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, co-morbidity, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms


Objectives. The main aims of the study were to assess psychopathological symptoms in adolescent patients with eating disorders (restrictors and bulimics) and compare the two groups with healthy controls.
Method. 40 hospitalized female adolescents diagnosed with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa and 46 healthy adolescent girls were examined using the EDI, Hamilton Scale, YBOCS, and STAI. Intergroup comparisons were made between restrictors (the restrictive subtype of anorexia nervosa), bulimics (the bulimic subtype of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa) and healthy controls.
Results. As compared to healthy controls, both groups with eating disorders exhibited statistically significantly higher levels of psychopa-thology (depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms). The restrictive group had a higher level of depression, and a lower level of anxiety than had bulimics, while the severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms was similar in the two groups. Correlations were found between some personality traits (EDI) and both state and trait anxiety symptoms (STAI) in restrictive patients. Moreover, personality traits (EDI), state and trait anxiety (STAI) and depressive symptoms were intercorrelated in the bulimic group.
Conclusion. Both groups of patients with eating disorders had higher levels of psychopathological symptoms as compared to healthy controls. Differences were found between bulimic and restrictive patients in personality traits and psychopathological symptoms. Careful examination may improve our understanding and treatment of these patient groups.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Cezary Żechowski
Klinika Psychiatrii Dzieci i Młodzieży Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii
ul. Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa
tel. (22) 4582790, tel./fax: (22) 6421272
e-mail: cezech@poczta.onet.pl