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OBJECTIVE: We wanted to know whether adolescents with eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) differ from those with bulimia nervosa (BN) in clinical features, comorbidity, risk factors, treatment outcome or cost. METHOD: Adolescents with EDNOS (n = 24) or BN (n = 61) took part in a trial of family therapy versus guided self-care. At baseline, eating disorder symptoms, risk factors, and costs were assessed by interview. Patients were reinterviewed at 6 and 12 months. RESULTS: Compared with EDNOS, BN patients binged, vomited and purged significantly more, and were more preoccupied with food. Those with EDNOS had more depression and had more current and childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder. 66.6% of EDNOS versus 27.8% of BN patients were abstinent from bingeing and vomiting at 1 year. Diagnosis did not moderate treatment outcome. Costs did not differ between groups. CONCLUSION: EDNOS in adolescents is not trivial. It has milder eating disorder symptoms but more comorbidity than BN.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Eat Disord

Publication Date





498 - 504


Adolescent, Adult, Bulimia Nervosa, Comorbidity, Costs and Cost Analysis, Family Therapy, Female, Humans, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Risk Factors, Self Care, Self Efficacy, Surveys and Questionnaires, Treatment Outcome