Traumatic events, posttraumatic stress symptomatology and somatoform symptoms in eating disorder patients.Eur Eat Disord Rev 2010; 18(2):124-32EE
The central aim of the study was to assess the frequency of traumatic events and comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women with eating disorders (EDs). In addition, the frequency of somatoform complaints was investigated in patients with PTSD compared to those without PTSD.
101 ED patients (26.4 years, SD = 7.4) from an outpatient department were investigated by means of standardized questionnaires.
63.3% of the anorexic and 57.7% of the bulimic patients had experienced at least one trauma in their life. 10% of the anorexic and 14.1% of the bulimic patients fulfilled the study definition for a current diagnosis of PTSD. Patients with a comorbid PTSD reported somatoform symptoms more frequently than patients without PTSD (p < 0.001).
These findings provide additional support for the association between somatization and PTSD in ED patients. In addition, clinical interventions for traumatized ED patients may benefit from a focus on posttraumatic stress symptomatology.