Pretreatment outcome indicators in an eating disorder outpatient group: the effects of self-esteem, personality disorders and dissociation

Compr Psychiatry. 2013 Oct;54(7):933-42. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2013.03.024. Epub 2013 May 2.


Objective: The prognosis for eating disorders (ED) is unsatisfactory, and the literature about outcome indicators is controversial. The present study evaluates the roles of self-esteem, personality disorders (PD), and dissociation as outcome predictors.

Method: Fifty-seven ED outpatients were recruited from a population beginning a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Enhanced (CBT-E) treatment. All patients received the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I (SCID-I), the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II (SCID-II), and completed the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q), the Dissociation Questionnaire (DIS-Q), and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). One month after the end of treatment, recovery was evaluated as meeting the DSM-IV criteria for EDs.

Results: A small group of patients recovered (42.2%). Low self-esteem and dissociation results correlated with a negative outcome.

Discussion: Dissociation may be an important moderator of psychotherapy and treatment success, as already suggested by previous studies on non-eating-related disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Dissociative Disorders / complications
  • Dissociative Disorders / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Personality Disorders / complications
  • Personality Disorders / psychology*
  • Prognosis
  • Self Concept*
  • Treatment Outcome