Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst

Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst
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ISSN: 2167-1044


Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms in the Outcome of Eating Disorders: 8-Year Follow-Up

Amianto F, Settanta C, Marzola E, Spalatro A, Abbate Daga G and Fassino S

Introduction: Eating Disorders (EDs) are severe and treatment-resistant conditions whose psychopharmacological treatments are still limited. Anxiety and depressive symptoms and specific personality traits play a key role in ED outcome. This 8-year follow-up study on a sample of ED patients treated with a multimodal model aims to produce a better insight in the intertwined aspects of anxiety, depression, and eating psychopathology. Methods: n=107 female individuals with EDs were assessed face-to-face 8 years after discharge from the outpatient facility of the Center for EDs using: Temperament and Character Inventory, Eating Disorder Inventory-2, Symptom Checklist 90, and Beck Depression Inventory-II. All outpatients underwent a multimodal treatment. Recovered and non-recovered subgroups were compared with ANCOVA. Multivariate regression analyses were performed between changes in personality, anxiety, and depression with those in eating symptoms and psychopathology. Results: Both ED samples were found to be improved in depression and anxiety along with ED symptoms and eating psychopathology at follow-up. Also the non-recovered individuals showed a significant improvement of anxiety and depression scores along with eating symptoms and psychopathology and personality. The relationship between changes in personality traits and eating psychopathology was stronger than the one we found between personality and anxiety and depression. Conclusion: The multimodal treatment may be effective to significantly improve mood and anxiety features of ED patients jointly with those in eating symptoms and psychopathology, and related personality traits. Even though the changes in personality may be relevant in order to stabilize eating symptoms, such changes do not significantly correlate with those of anxiety and depression in AN or BN subgroups. Moreover, the course of eating psychopathology is rather independent from that of anxiety and depression over the long-run. The relationship between psychopathology of anxiety and depression with eating symptoms and treatment resistance deserves further exploration to help clinicians in treatment planning.