Specific comorbidity between bulimia nervosa and personality disorders.Int J Eat Disord. 1996 Mar; 19(2):159-70.IJ
The present study investigates the comorbidity between bulimia nervosa (BN) and the entire range of American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd rev. ed. (DSM-III-R) personality disorders and controls for the presence of coexisting depression.
The Personality Disorders Examination (PDE), a structured interview that encompasses all 13 (provisional) DSM-III-R personality disorders, was administered to three groups of subjects: depressed BN patients (n = 15), nondepressed BN patients (n = 15), and nonpsychiatric controls (n = 15). The BN patients were referrals to a dieting disorder unit affiliated with the University of Sydney. They all met DSM-III-R criteria and all had body mass indexes (BMIs) greater than 19. The nonpsychiatric control group were recruited from an undergraduate psychology course. All subjects were given the Bulimic Investigatory Test, Edinburgh (BITE), the Eating Disorders Inventory-2 (EDI-2), the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), and the PDE.
46.7% of depressed BN patients met the criteria for at least one Axis II diagnosis, as assessed by the PDE, and 33.3% of nondepressed BN patients received such a diagnosis, whereas only 6.7% of nonpsychiatric control subjects met this criterion (p < .05). The results of the present study provide support for an increased comorbidity between personality disorders and BN that cannot be attributed to the confounding influence of coexisting depression.
This finding enables the identification of subgroups of individuals with BN, enabling them to be compared and contrasted. The identification of differences between subgroups may provide information regarding prognosis and differential response to treatment, which could enable more appropriate treatment decisions to be made.