Psychological Assessment in Clinical Practice: A Pragmatic Guide

By Michel Hersen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8

Assessment of Eating Disorders

Tiffany M. Stewart
Donald A. Williamson


□ Description of the Problem

Eating disorders, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (American Psychiatric Association; DSM-IV, 1994), may be conceptualized as having multiple symptom domains that should be assessed. We believe that there are six essential features of eating disorders that should be measured: body size, binge eating, compensatory behavior (e.g., purging), restrictive eating, body image, and general psychopathology. To establish an eating disorder diagnosis, DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, summarized in Table 8.1, should be used.

In this review, we have selected assessment methods that can be used for specific objectives, including screening measures, diagnostic interviews, multisymptom measures, measures that assess pathological eating, body image, body weight, comorbid pathology, and special problems. Table 8.2 provides a summary of the methods reviewed in this chapter and describes the symptom domains that are measured by each procedure. Recommendations are made for an assessment battery pertaining to eating disorders.

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