Obsessive compulsive comorbidity in the dieting disorders

Christopher Thornton*, Janice Russell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study investigated the comorbidity of obsessive compulsive disorder and obsessive compulsive personality disorder with the dieting disorders. A comorbid sample was examined in order to test the hypothesis that obsessive compulsive symptoms and personality are premorbid in these patients. Method: Sixty-eight inpatients (35 with anorexia nervosa and 33 with bulimia nervosa) were assessed for DSM-III-R Axis 1 and Axis 11 obsessive compulsive psychopathology using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) and the Personality Disorders Inventory (PDE), respectively. Results: Twenty-one percent of the group met criteria for a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder. Thirty-seven percent of anorexia nervosa patients were comorbid for obsessive compulsive disorder compared to only 3% of bulimia nervosa patients. In most, the obsessive compulsive disorder had predated the dieting disorder. Nineteen percent of patients were found to have premorbid obsessive compulsive personality disorder. Discussion: This study supports the assumption of obsessive compulsive comorbidity within the dieting disorders and provides empirical support that this obsessionality is a premorbid characteristic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

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