Clarifying criteria for cognitive signs and symptoms for eating disorders in DSM-V

Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
International Journal of Eating Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.03). 11/2009; 42(7):611-9. DOI: 10.1002/eat.20723
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This article reviews literature relevant to challenges in clinical ascertainment of cognitively-based diagnostic criteria of anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) to examine whether revision might enhance their clinical utility.
We performed a systematic literature search to identify publications relevant to clinical evaluation of cognitive symptoms of AN and BN.
The literature supports several reasons that individuals with an eating disorder may not endorse cognitive symptoms, despite their presence. These include limited insight, minimization, or denial, as well as intentional concealment related to perceived stigma, social desirability, or investment in maintaining behavioral symptoms. We also identified reasons that the word "refusal" in AN criterion A may render its application problematic.
We conclude that specific guidance for ascertainment of cognitive signs for AN and BN in the absence of patient disclosure or endorsement, longitudinal evaluation, and/or collateral data may improve clinical utility of these diagnostic criteria.

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