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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 45 (2003) 1, 27 - 34

Review article

Subtyping of anorexia nervosa

F.L. Wojciechowski, A. Geilen-van Hulst

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. 


keywords anorexia nervosa, binge-eating/purging type, restrictive type, subtyping