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Quality Of Life: Eating Disorders

Suzanne F. Abraham, Tani Brown, Catherine Boyd, Georgina Luscombe, Janice Russell

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Objective: There is a lack of measurements with predictive validity that are specific for quality of life (QOL) in patients with eating disorders. Method: A total of 306 eating disorder patients treated as inpatients completed the Quality of Life for Eating Disorders (QOL ED): 109 at both admission and discharge from hospital, 65 at both admission and after 12months. Patients also completed well-validated measures of eating disorders, psychological dysfunction and general physical and mental QOL. QOL ED consists of 20 self-report questions that provide scores for the domains of behaviour, eating disorder feelings, psychological feelings, effects on daily life, effects on acute medical status and body weight, and a global score. Results: QOL ED domain scores correlated appropriately with previously validated wellknown measures of eating disorders, psychological dysfunction, general QOL and behaviour and body weight (p < 0.001). The QOL ED shows high reliability (Cronbach's alpha=0.93). All scores changed significantly and appropriately during inpatient hospital treatment and between admission and 12 months after discharge from hospital (p < 0.001). The scores differed for anorexia nervosa, bulimia, eating disorder not specified (EDNOS) and no diagnosis. All no diagnosis (recovered) domain and global scores were significantly different from all diagnoses scores (p < 0.001). Conclusion: This quick, simple instrument fulfils all potential uses for QOL assessments in the clinical and research settings associated with eating disorders, including outcome.