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Recovery from adolescent onset anorexia nervosa: a longitudinal study
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Anorexia Nervosa is a psychiatric illness with peak onset in ages 14-17. Most cases recover within a few years, but the illness can have a fatal outcome or long duration. Multifactor causes of anorexia nervosa include genetics, personality, family, and socio-cultural factors.

This study measures mortality, recovery from anorexia nervosa, and psychosocial outcome of patients with adolescent onset anorexia nervosa that were treated in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in northern Sweden from 1980 to 1985. In addition, this study assesses the predictive value of background variables and studies perfectionism in relation to recovery. Finally, this study looks at how patients understand the causes of their anorexia nervosa and how they view their recovery process.

Follow ups were made 8 and 16 years after initial assessment at CAP. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used. These included a semistructured interview, DSM diagnostics of eating disorders (including GAF), and the self-assessment questionnaires EDI and SCL-90. The interview also contained questions about causes and recovery.

Recovery increased from 68% to 85% from first to second follow-up and the mortality rate was 1%. Somatic problems and paediatric inpatient care during the first treatment period could predict long-term outcome of eating disorders. Most former patients had a satisfying family and work situation. At both follow-ups, individuals with long-term recovery had a lower level of perfectionism than those that recovered later. On individual levels, eating disorder symptoms and psychiatric symptoms decreased during recovery, whereas the levels of perfectionism stayed the same. Causes were attributed to self, family, and socio-cultural stressors outside of the family. The most common self-reported causes were high own demands and perfectionism. All recovered subjects could remember and describe a special turning point when the recovery started and 62% saw themselves as an active agent in the recovery process. Supportive friends, treatment, activities, family of origin, boyfriend, husband, and children were also helpful in the recovery process.

Compared to other outcome studies, the results were good. In spite of the good outcome, some individuals had a long duration of illness and were not yet fully recovered after 16 years of follow-up. Predictors of non-recovery were related to initial somatic problems. Levels of perfectionism were associated to recovery and patients with initial high levels of perfectionism may need more complex treatment strategies. Results from the study also implied that one should stimulate the patients’ social contacts and their sense of self-efficacy in their recovery- process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Klinisk vetenskap , 2007. , 65 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1098
Keyword [en]
anorexia nervosa, adolescent onset, long-term follow-up, outcome, causes, recovery, perfectionism, patient perspectives
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1119ISBN: 978-91-7264-299-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-1119DiVA: diva2:140263
Public defence
2007-05-25, Sal B, 9tr, Tandläkarhögskolan, NUS, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-05-08 Created: 2007-05-08 Last updated: 2010-11-05Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Long-term follow-up of adolescent onset anorexia nervosa in northern Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Long-term follow-up of adolescent onset anorexia nervosa in northern Sweden
2005 (English)In: European eating disorders review, ISSN 1072-4133, E-ISSN 1099-0968, Vol. 13, no 2, 89-100 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-13916 (URN)10.1002/erv.631 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-05-16 Created: 2007-05-16 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. A longitudinal study of perfectionism in adolescent onset anorexia nervosa-restricting type
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A longitudinal study of perfectionism in adolescent onset anorexia nervosa-restricting type
2008 (English)In: European eating disorders review, ISSN 1072-4133, E-ISSN 1099-0968, Vol. 16, no 5, 386-394 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This longitudinal study analyses self-reported perfectionism, eating disorders and psychiatric symptoms during recovery from anorexia nervosa (AN). With a recovered design, a group of 68 previous patients with AN was studied in two follow-up studies, 8 and 16 years after 1st admission to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP). Levels of perfectionism stayed the same while eating disorder symptoms and psychiatric symptoms decreased during recovery. Levels of perfectionism were inversely related to duration of remission so that individuals that had short illness duration had lower levels of perfectionism at both follow-ups. Patients with initial high levels of perfectionism may be at risk for a long illness duration which we recommend clinicians to acknowledge.

Keyword
anorexia nervosa, perfectionism, psychiatric symptoms, recovery
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-22947 (URN)10.1002/erv.850 (DOI)18059049 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2009-05-20 Created: 2009-05-20 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. Causes of adolescent onset anorexia nervosa: patient perspectives.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Causes of adolescent onset anorexia nervosa: patient perspectives.
2007 (English)In: Eating Disorders, ISSN 1064-0266, E-ISSN 1532-530X, Vol. 15, no 2, 125-133 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-13904 (URN)10.1080/10640260701190642 (DOI)17454071 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2007-05-16 Created: 2007-05-16 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Patient perspectives of recovery in adolescent onset anorexia nervosa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Patient perspectives of recovery in adolescent onset anorexia nervosa
2006 (English)In: Eating Disorders, ISSN 1064-0266, E-ISSN 1532-530X, Vol. 14, 305-311 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-13910 (URN)16873146 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2007-05-16 Created: 2007-05-16 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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