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Open Access Research article

Temperamental factors predict long-term modifications of eating disorders after treatment

Cristina Segura-García12*, Dora Chiodo1, Flora Sinopoli2 and Pasquale De Fazio1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health Sciences, Chair of Psychiatry, University Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy

2 Ambulatory for Clinical Research and Treatment of Eating Disorders, University Hospital Mater Domini, Catanzaro, Italy

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BMC Psychiatry 2013, 13:288  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-288

Published: 7 November 2013

Abstract

Background

Eating Disorders (EDs) are complex psychiatric pathologies characterized by moderate to poor response to treatment. Criteria of remission and recovery are not yet well defined. Simultaneously, personality plays a key role among the factors that determine treatment outcome. The aim of the present research is to evaluate the possibility of temperamental and character traits to predict the long-term outcome of ED.

Method

A sample of 25 AN and 28 BN female patients were re-assessed face-to-face after a minimum 5-years-follow-up through SCID-I, EDI-2 and TCI-R. Regression Analyses were performed to ascertain the possibility of TCI-R dimensions at the first visit to predict the long-term outcome.

Results

Clinical and psychopathological symptoms significantly decreased over the time and 23% of participants no longer received a categorical ED diagnosis after at least 5 years of follow-up. TCI-R dimensions failed to predict the absence of a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis in the long term, but Novelty Seeking, Harm Avoidance and Reward Dependence demonstrated to predict the clinical improvement of several EDI-2 scales.

Conclusions

Our results support the idea that temperamental dimensions are relevant to the long-term improvement of clinical variables of ED. Low Novelty Seeking is the strongest predictor of poor outcome.

Keywords:
Anorexia nervosa; Bulimia nervosa; Temperament; Character; Outcome