Subtyping of anorexia nervosa
background In contrast to earlier editions of dsm, in DSM-IV two subtypes of anorexia nervosa are distinguished: a restricting and a binge-eating/purging subtype.
aims The goal of this article is to investigate whether there is sufficient empirical evidence for this subtyping of anorexia nervosa.
method Literature review, using Medline and PsycINFO, of empirical studies concerning anorexia nervosa subtyping from the period 1993 to June 2001, using as key words anorexia nervosa, subtype(s), subtyping, classification, restrictive, binge-eating, purge and purging.
results Anorexia nervosa, restrictive type, can be clearly distinguished from the binge-eating/ purging type on the basis of comorbid personality variables. Purging is significantly more important for subtyping of anorexia nervosa then binge-eating.
conclusion There is sufficient empirical evidence to warrant the subtyping of anorexia nervosa into two subtypes on basis of the presence or absence of purging behaviours.