Assessment of patients with anorexia nervosa: interview versus self-report

Int J Eat Disord. 2005 Mar;37(2):92-9. doi: 10.1002/eat.20076.


Objective: The current study compared the agreement between the Eating Disorders Examination (EDE) and the Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q) in the diagnosis and assessment of eating disorder pathology in a sample of women with anorexia nervosa.

Method: First, a physician administered a clinical interview to each patient. Then, before hospital admission, all subjects were given the EDE-Q and the EDE interview.

Results: Results indicate that agreement between the EDE and the EDE-Q on the individual items informing the overall diagnosis of anorexia nervosa ranges from low to moderate. Agreement for the overall diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and for the binge/purge subtype was more impressive. Although correlations between subscale scores as well as eating disorder behaviors were strong, higher levels of disturbance were consistently reported on the EDE-Q than on the EDE interview.

Discussion: The pattern of findings suggests that the EDE-Q may be used in place of the interviewer-based measure when assessing overall diagnosis and subtype, as well as specific, well-defined features (vomiting/laxative use). However, there was a low level of agreement with respect to less-defined features, like binge eating, for which significantly higher frequencies were generated by the self-report questionnaire.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis*
  • Body Image
  • Bulimia / diagnosis
  • Bulimia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological*
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Concept
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires