Body image quality of life in eating disorders
Ignacio Jáuregui Lobera1, Patricia Bolaños Ríos2
1Department of Nutrition and Bromatology, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain; 2Behavior Sciences Institute, Seville, Spain
Purpose: The objective was to examine how body image affects quality of life in an eating-disorder (ED) clinical sample, a non-ED clinical sample, and a nonclinical sample. We hypothesized that ED patients would show the worst body image quality of life. We also hypothesized that body image quality of life would have a stronger negative association with specific ED-related variables than with other psychological and psychopathological variables, mainly among ED patients. On the basis of previous studies, the influence of gender on the results was explored, too.
Patients and methods: The final sample comprised 70 ED patients (mean age 22.65 ± 7.76 years; 59 women and 11 men); 106 were patients with other psychiatric disorders (mean age 28.20 ± 6.52; 67 women and 39 men), and 135 were university students (mean age 21.57 ± 2.58; 81 women and 54 men), with no psychiatric history. After having obtained informed consent, the following questionnaires were administered: Body Image Quality of Life Inventory-Spanish version (BIQLI-SP), Eating Disorders Inventory-2 (EDI-2), Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ), Self-Esteem Scale (SES), and Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R).
Results: The ED patients' ratings on the BIQLI-SP were the lowest and negatively scored (BIQLI-SP means: +20.18, +5.14, and —6.18, in the student group, the non-ED patient group, and the ED group, respectively). The effect of body image on quality of life was more negative in the ED group in all items of the BIQLI-SP. Body image quality of life was negatively associated with specific ED-related variables, more than with other psychological and psychopathological variables, but not especially among ED patients.
Conclusion: Body image quality of life was affected not only by specific pathologies related to body image disturbances, but also by other psychopathological syndromes. Nevertheless, the greatest effect was related to ED, and seemed to be more negative among men. This finding is the opposite of that found in other groups studied previously.
Keywords: body image, quality of life, eating disorders, self-esteem, social functioning, gender differences
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