Objective: To assess the role of measured physical activity (PA) in anorexia nervosa treatment outcome, and to compare the PA of patients with anorexia nervosa with age-matched controls.
Method: PA was assessed by means of Sense Wear Armband before and after a cognitive-behavioral inpatient treatment in 53 consecutive females with anorexia nervosa, and in 53 healthy age-matched controls.
Results: At baseline, patients with anorexia nervosa exhibited a higher duration of moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA≥3 Metabolic Equivalent Tasks (METs)) than controls (t = 2.91; p = .004). Dropouts had higher duration (sec) and expenditure (kcal·day(-1)) of MVPA than completers. At the end of treatment, completers had a higher number of daily steps, MVPA duration, and expenditure than controls. However, PA was not correlated to eating disorder psychopathology either before or after treatment.
Discussion: PA is higher in patients with anorexia nervosa than age-matched controls both before and after treatment, and is associated with treatment dropout.
Keywords: Sense Wear Armband; anorexia nervosa; dropout; eating disorders; inpatient treatment; physical activity.
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