Recovery from eating disorders: psychometric properties of a patient-related measure
Gunn Pettersen,1 Kari-Brith Thune-Larsen,2 Jan H Rosenvinge3
1Department of Health and Care Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway; 2Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway; 3Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
Abstract: Although there are numerous lists of items covering clinically valid aspects of recovery from eating disorders, these lists are on the nominal level: the potential for multidimensional development has not been explored. Such exploration is the purpose of the present study. The subjects included in the study were 152 female clinicians, 1052 females randomly selected from the general population, and 184 eating-disorder patients. All subjects rated 17 recovery items on a 10-point scale in terms of their relevance and importance. They also completed measures of knowledge about eating disorders and their own eating problems, in addition to providing information about their age and personal acquaintance with eating disorders. Fourteen recovery-item scores were sample unspecific, and hence all samples tended to judge the majority of items in a similar manner. The 17 items successfully formed three separate factors covering specific eating-disorder symptoms, as well as social and psychological issues. The clinician and general population sample analyzed together provided a more condensed scale comprising two factors (specific eating-disorder symptoms and psychosocial factors), with each factor having three items. This factor structure was successfully replicated using the patient-validation sample. The findings indicate an empirical basis for a valid recovery measure that may be suitable in future outcome research.
Keywords: eating disorders, recovery, outcome, outcome measures
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