A cluster analysis of purging disorder: Validation analyses with eating disorder symptoms, general psychopathology and personality

Isabel Krug, Roser Granero, Sarah Giles, Nadine Riesco, Zaida Agüera, Isabel Sánchez, Susana Jiménez-Murcia, Amparo del Pino-Gutierrez, Ester Codina, Isabel Baenas, Eduardo Valenciano-Mendoza, Jose M. Menchón, Fernando Fernández-Aranda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To assess the natural grouping of Purging Disorder (PD) patients based on purging symptomatology and to evaluate the derived classes (a) against each other and (b) to a control group on a range of clinical and psychological measures. Method: Participants included 223 PD women consecutively admitted to a tertiary ED treatment centre and 822 controls. Purging behaviours (self-induced vomiting, laxative and diuretic use) were used as indicators, while the EDI-2 (ED symptoms), the SCL-90-R (general psychopathology), and the TCI-R (personality traits) were used as validators. Results: Three distinct PD clusters emerged: Cluster 1 (only self-induced vomiting), Cluster 2 (self-induced vomiting and laxative use) and Cluster 3 (all purging methods). Significant differences between Cluster 1 and Cluster 3 were found for the EDI-2 drive for thinness and perfectionism subscales, and the TCI-persistence scale. All clusters differed significantly from the controls on all the EDI-2 and the SCL-90-R scales, but findings for the TCI-R scales were less consistent. Conclusions: This study adds to a growing literature on the validity and distinctiveness of PD and provides evidence of dimensional symptom differences amongst PD clusters.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)643-656
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • classification
  • OSFED
  • personality
  • purging disorder
  • severity indicator

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