Pretreatment unresolved-disorganized attachment status in eating disorder patients associated with stronger reduction of comorbid symptoms after psychotherapy

G.S. Kuijpers*, M.H.J. Bekker, M.M.E. Riem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Research shows that the Unresolved-disorganized attachment representation (U), resulting from experiences of loss or abuse, is associated with a range of psychiatric conditions. However, clinical implications of U are yet unclear.

Objective:
To investigate how U is related to symptoms and recovery of eating disorder (ED) patients.

Method:
First, 38 ED patients starting psychotherapeutic treatment were compared to 20 controls without ED on the prevalence of U, assessed with the Adult Attachment Interview. Second, in the patient group relations between U and ED symptoms, depression, anxiety and subjective experience of symptoms were investigated. Third, we compared, 1 year afterwards, recovery of patients with and without U.

Results:
The prevalence of U was higher in ED patients than in controls. Symptom severity was not related to U. ED patients with U at the start of treatment improved significantly more regarding anxiety, depression and subjective experience of symptoms than did patients without U.

Discussion:
The differential recovery of ED patients with or without U confirms the trauma-related heterogeneity of patients found in other diagnostic groups and calls for further investigation into the treatment needs of patients with different attachment representations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-676
JournalEating Disorders
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • ADULT ATTACHMENT
  • ANOREXIA-NERVOSA
  • CHILDHOOD MALTREATMENT
  • DEPRESSION
  • INSECURITY
  • INTERVIEW
  • MENTALIZATION
  • PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
  • STABILITY
  • TRAUMA

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Pretreatment unresolved-disorganized attachment status in eating disorder patients associated with stronger reduction of comorbid symptoms after psychotherapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this