Poor quality of life linked to eating disorders severity

The finding challenges current diagnosis and treatment recommendations, the authors say, because diagnostic criteria do not include these factors as necessary for an eating disorder diagnosis, leading to the belief that poor health-related quality of life is a result of the disease and not a factor contributing to it.

Researchers from the University of Western Sydney (UWS), who conducted the study, say moving away from “weight-centric” treatment interventions and embracing health-related quality of life as a treatment target rather than just an outcome would contribute, at least in part, to the resolution of symptoms.

The study, led by UWS psychologist Deborah Mitchison, looked at data collected from 828 Australian women in the community with an eating disorder over five years.

The study found that psychological distress and health-related quality of life independently predicted an increase in eating disorder severity over time.