Quality of life impairment in a community sample of women with eating disorders

Jonathan Mond*, Phillipa Hay, Bryan Rodgers, Cathy Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Studies of quality of life among individuals with eating disorders have relied almost exclusively on clinical samples. We examined impairment in quality of life in a community sample of women with eating disorders recruited as part of an epidemiological study.Methods: Measures of health-related quality of life (Medical Outcomes Study 12-item Short-Form Physical and Mental Component Summary scales) and subjective well-being (WHOQOL-BREF Psychological Functioning and Social Relationships subscales) were completed by women with eating disorders (n = 159), primarily variants of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, and a comparison group of healthy women (n = 232).Results: When compared with healthy women, women with eating disorders reported substantial impairment in aspects of quality of life relating to mental health, although item-level analysis indicated considerable variation in the extent to which specific aspects of emotional well-being were affected. Impairment in social relationship and in physical health was less pronounced and due, at least in part, to between-group differences in age, body weight and demographic characteristics. Impairment in certain aspects of perceived physical health was, however, apparent among women with eating disorders, even after controlling for between-group differences in body weight.Conclusions: Community cases of women with eating disorders experience marked impairment in quality of life as this relates to mental health functioning and at least some impairment in physical health functioning. Personality characteristics and ego-syntonic aspects of eating-disordered behaviour may complicate the interpretation of findings relating to impairment in specific aspects of quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-568
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume46
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • community sample
  • Eating disorders
  • mental health
  • physical health
  • quality of life

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