Finding an answer to this enigma may be of prime importance for several reasons. One of them is prevention since discovering a relationship between eating and personality disorders may help detect problems beforehand in people who are particularly vulnerable to developing anorexia or bulimia given certain traits of their personality.
Another reason is related to the treatment of these pathologies. Even though treatments are effective, the percentage of relapses is still high. Being able to unravel and understand how personality disorders influence the tendency to relapse can also help increase the treatment’s chances of success.
With these objectives in mind, the researchers at the Department of Basic and Clinic Psychology and Psychobiology analysed the personality of 150 young women aged 24 on average, who were distributed into three different groups. A first group was made up of young women diagnosed as having purging-type bulimia nervosa (60%) and purging-type anorexia nervosa (40%); a second group was formed by participants who, even though they were not ill, showed restrictive eating behaviours; finally, the third was a control group.
“What we observed was that 48.5% of participants from the first group, that is, women with anorexia or bulimia nervosa, fit the criteria of a personality disorder”, comments Azucena García Palacios, principal investigator of the study. The most frequent pathological personality patterns were those of an avoidant and self-destructive type. Since these patterns are accompanied by eating disorders, they can play a significant role in the failure of treatments for anorexia and bulimia”.
“This result supports the increasingly widespread idea of the need to design and validate programmes for treating eating behaviour disorders which include components and strategies aimed to treat the personality pathology”, add the authors.
As for the participants from the second group (made up of healthy young women but who show certain restrictive eating behaviours that can be understood as a prelude to anorexia or bulimia), they obtained significantly higher scores than the control group participants as far as the eating and personality pathology was concerned. In other words, these women had certain pathological personality traits in addition to a certain tendency to control their calorie intake.
“An important detail to take into account is the fact that suffering from a personality pathology has a high predictive value with respect to the seriousness, the comorbidity with other disorders such as those of mood, the record of suicide attempts, or the number of psychiatric hospitalisations, as well as response to treatment”, the researchers conclude.
In addition to Azucena García, the other researchers in the study include Cristina Botella, Adoración Reyes Moliner and Soledad Quero, all of them from the Universitat Jaume I’s Department of Basic and Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology. Rosa Baños and Conxa Perpiñà, from the Universitat de València and professional staff from the PREVI Clinical Centre in Valencia, who are specialists in the treatment of eating behaviour disorders, have also participated in the study.
Hugo Cerdà | alfa
Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University
A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.
In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...
Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
18.12.2017 | Information Technology
18.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science