Handbook of Eating Disorders: Physiology, Psychology, and Treatment of Obesity, Anorexia, and Bulimia

By Kelly D. Brownell; John P. Foreyt | Go to book overview

23
Assessment of Bulimia:
A Multidimensional Model

Craig Johnson

Darryl L. Pure


Introduction

The increase in the incidence of eating disorders25,39,57 has created a need for more specialized and sophisticated assessment procedures. This need arises in part from a growing awareness that as the incidence increases, so does the heterogeneity of the clinical characteristics and etiological factors associated with the patient population. Consequently, consensus is emerging that effective treatment is being facilitated by thorough assessments of the biological, familial, sociocultural, and psychological factors that contribute to the onset and perpetuation of the disorder.

This chapter presents a comprehensive conceptual model for investigating how various milieu factors interface with the symptomatic behavior of bulimia. Figure 23.1 outlines the areas that will be discussed. The discussion of each of these areas will focus on our current understanding of how each is specifically related to eating disorders.


Overall Philosophy of the Assessment Interview

In a previous article regarding the initial consultation,32 detailed recommendations were made for structuring the clinical interview. One aspect of the overall philosophy of the initial assessment merits repeating.

____________________
This work was supported by the George and Tina Barr Foundation. The authors would like to thank Mary Connors, Ph.D., for her assistance with this manuscript.

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