Health services use in women with a history of bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder eating disorder

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The current study examined health services use during the past 12 months in a sample of young women with a history of an adolescent eating disorder (bulimia nervosa [BN] or binge eating disorder [BED]).


A community sample of 1,582 young women (mean age = 21.5 years) was classified, based on a screening interview (and, for eating disorder diagnosis, confirmatory diagnostic interview), into one of three groups: BN or BED (n = 67), other psychiatric disorder (n = 443), and no adolescent psychiatric disorder (n = 1,072).


A history of BN/BED in adolescence was associated with elevated health services use, but this was a general effect associated with having a psychiatric disorder, not an effect specific to the diagnosis of an eating disorder. Total service days, outpatient psychotherapy visits, and emergency department visits were elevated in the combined group of BN/BED and other psychiatric disorder participants relative to the healthy comparison group. The women with BN/BED did not differ significantly from the women with a non–eating-related psychiatric disorder in the use of these services.


The similarity of health services use in young women with BN or BED and those with other psychiatric disorders underscores the clinical and economic impact of these eating disorders. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Copyright 2005 Wiley

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Publication Title

International Journal of Eating Disorders

Published Citation

Striegel-Moore, R. H., Dohm, F. A., Kraemer, H. C., Schreiber, G., Crawford, P., & Daniels, S. (2005). Health services use in women with a history of bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 37(1), 11-18. doi: 10.1002/eat.20090.



Peer Reviewed