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Emotion Regulation as a Transdiagnostic Feature Among Eating Disorders: Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Approach

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Núria Mallorquí-Bagué, Cristina Vintró-Alcaraz, Isabel Sánchez, Nadine Riesco, Zaida Agüera, Roser Granero, Susana Jiménez-Múrcia, José M. Menchón, Janet Treasure, Fernando Fernández-Aranda

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association
Early online date23 Nov 2017
Accepted/In press23 Oct 2017
E-pub ahead of print23 Nov 2017

King's Authors


Emotion regulation (ER) difficulties are observed in eating disorders (EDs). However, few studies have explored ER before and after treatment. The aims are as follows: to explore ER difficulties across ED types and a healthy control (HC) group (Study 1) and to assess pretreatment and post-treatment changes among ED types (Study 2). In Study 1, adult women with EDs (n=438) and HC (n=126) completed an assessment including Eating Disorders Inventory-2, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale and Symptom Checklist-90-Revised. Patients in Study 2 (n=69) were also reassessed after treatment. All ED types reported worse ER compared with HC (p<.001); also, ER differences were found between ED types. Prospective analyses show ER improvements after treatment (p<.001; |d|=0.51), especially in patients with bulimia nervosa (p<.001; |d|=1.03; Reliable Change Index=9.79) with greater improvement in those with a better treatment outcome (p=.034). In conclusion, emotion dysregulation is a part of all forms of EDs. Furthermore, emotional dysregulation can be modified. ED treatments for anorexia nervosa and binge eating disorder might be enhanced by targeting ER skills.

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