The psychometric network structure of mental health in eating disorder patients

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Abstract

Objective: Psychometric network analysis has led to new possibilities to assess the structure and dynamics of psychiatric disorders. The current study focuses on mental health networks in patients with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and other specified eating disorders (EDs). Method: Network analyses were applied with five mental health domains (emotional, psychological and social well-being, and general and specific psychopathology) among 905 ED patients. Also, networks of 36 underlying symptoms related to the domains were estimated. The network stability, structure and (bridge) centrality of the nodes were assessed for the total group and each ED type. Network differences between the ED types were also examined. Results: ED psychopathology was only weakly connected with the well-being domains. Psychological well-being was the most central node in the domain network. The most central nodes in the symptom network were feeling depressed, feeling worthless, purpose in life and self-acceptance. Bridge symptoms between well-being and psychopathology were self-acceptance, environmental mastery, interested in life and feeling depressed. There were no network differences between the ED types in both the domain and symptom networks. Conclusions: This study shows novel associations between well-being and psychopathology in ED patients. Central domains and their underlying symptoms may be especially important to consider in treatment for promoting mental health in ED patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Early online date5 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 5 May 2021

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • network analysis
  • positive functioning
  • positive mental health
  • psychological well-being
  • well-being
  • eating disorders

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