Perfectionism in anorexia nervosa: a 6-24-month follow-up study

Int J Eat Disord. 2003 Mar;33(2):225-9. doi: 10.1002/eat.10127.


Objective: This study examined the relationship between perfectionism and outcome in anorexia nervosa (AN).

Method: Seventy-three patients received inpatient treatment for AN. Participants completed the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) at admission to (n = 55), at discharge (n = 27), and at a median of 15.9 months (n = 49) after inpatient treatment. At follow-up, participants also completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS) and their scores were compared with those of healthy controls.

Results: EDI Perfectionism was associated with illness status. A lower EDI Perfectionism score at admission was associated with a better response to treatment, which was subsequently associated with better outcome at follow-up. Both the good and poor outcome groups had significantly higher MPS total perfectionism scores than healthy controls.

Discussion: The EDI measures an aspect of perfectionism that is sensitive to illness status, whereas the MPS is less dependent on clinical state and may reflect a common personality trait that persists with remission of disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Anorexia Nervosa / epidemiology*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Personality Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*