Personality dimensions and treatment drop-outs among eating disorder patients treated with cognitive behavior therapy

Psychiatry Res. 2008 Apr 15;158(3):381-8. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2007.07.028. Epub 2008 Mar 4.


Premature, unilateral interruption of inpatient treatment of eating disorders (ED) is a key factor limiting success. We evaluated the role of personality dimensions (temperament and character) in predicting drop-out in 145 consecutive ED inpatients (133 females) who entered cognitive behavior therapy. Baseline assessment included anthropometry, the Eating Disorder Examination, the Beck Depression Inventory, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Treatment was based on the new transdiagnostic cognitive behavior theory of ED, adapted for an inpatient setting; it was manual-based and lasted 20 weeks (13, inpatients; 7, residential day hospital). Thirty-four patients (23.4%) discontinued treatment. Drop-outs had a lower level of education, a higher prevalence of separation or divorce in the family, and lower scores on the TCI Persistence scale. After correction for age, gender and body-mass index, scores on the Persistence scale continued to be significantly related to drop-out, and the association was confirmed by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Eating disorder patients with low Persistence scores are significantly less likely to complete inpatient treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Mass Index
  • Character
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Day Care, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • Divorce / statistics & numerical data
  • Educational Status
  • Family Conflict / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manuals as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Dropouts / statistics & numerical data*
  • Personality / classification*
  • Personality Assessment
  • Personality Inventory
  • Prevalence
  • Survival Analysis
  • Temperament / classification