Eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder: A dimensional approach to purported relations.J Anxiety Disord. 2008 Dec; 22(8):1412-20.JA
The purpose of this research was to investigate the specificity of purported relations between symptoms of eating disorders (ED) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Whereas most research has focused on diagnostic comorbidity or between-groups analyses, this study took a dimensional approach to investigate specific relations among symptoms of anorexia, bulimia, and OCD, as well as panic, depression, and general distress in a student sample (N=465). Results were that all symptoms showed significant zero-order correlations, including all ED-OCD pairings. After removing general distress variance, however, none of three OCD scales significantly predicted anorexia; only compulsive washing among OCD scales significantly predicted bulimia. Hierarchical multiple regression demonstrated that panic and depression out-performed OCD in predicting bulimia symptoms. Overall, symptoms of ED and OCD did not show unique relations at the level of core dimensions of each construct. A possible link between bulimia and compulsive washing is worth further study.