The association between interpersonal problems and treatment outcome in patients with eating disorders

E.M. Ung, C.B. Erichsen, S. Poulsen, M.E. Lau, S. Simonsen, A.H. Davidsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Interpersonal problems are thought to play an essential role in the development and maintenance of eating disorders. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether a specific interpersonal profile could be identified in a group of patients diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, or Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified, and to explore if specific types of interpersonal problems were systematically related to treatment outcome in this group of patients.
Methods: The participants were 159 patients who received systemic/narrative outpatient group psychotherapy. Interpersonal problems were measured at baseline, and eating disorder symptoms were measured pre- and post treatment. Data were analysed with the Structural Summary Method, a particular method for the analysis of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems, and hierarchical regression analysis was conducted. Results: The patients demonstrated a generally Non-assertive and Friendly-submissive interpersonal style. No significant association between the overall level of interpersonal problems and treatment outcome was identified. However, the results showed a correlation between being cold and hostile and poor treatment outcome, while being domineering showed a trend approaching significance in predicting better treatment outcome. Conclusion: The results indicate that patients with eating disorders show a specific interpersonal profile, and suggest that particular types of interpersonal problems are associated with treatment outcome.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Eating Disorders
Issue number53
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Eating disorders
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Eating disorder not otherwise specified
  • Interpersonal problems
  • Group psychotherapy
  • Treatment outcome
  • Eating disorder examination and inventory of interpersonal problems


Dive into the research topics of 'The association between interpersonal problems and treatment outcome in patients with eating disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this