Purpose: The present study examined the predictive value of early maladaptive schema (EMS) domains on the diagnosis of binge eating disorder (BED).
Methods: Seventy obese patients seeking treatment for weight loss were recruited and allocated to either group 1 (obese) or group 2 (BED-obese) according to clinical diagnosis. Both groups underwent psychometric assessment for EMS (according to the latest four-factor model), eating and general psychopathologies. Logistic regression analysis was performed on significant variables and BED diagnosis.
Results: In addition to showing higher values on all clinical variables, BED-obese patients exhibited significantly higher scores for all four schema domains. Regression analysis revealed a 12-fold increase in risk of BED with 'Impaired Autonomy and Performance'. Depression did not account for a higher risk.
Conclusions: Impaired Autonomy and Performance is associated with BED in a sample of obese patients. Schema therapy should be considered a potential psychotherapy strategy in the treatment of BED.
Level of evidence: Level III, case-control study.
Keywords: BED; Binge; EMS; Obesity; Schema; Schema therapy.