Network analysis of specific psychopathology and psychiatric symptoms in patients with anorexia nervosa

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Network analysis is increasingly applied to psychiatric populations to understand relationships among symptoms.


Network analysis was applied on 955 patients with anorexia nervosa (AN; 631 restricting-type [ANR] and 324 binge eating-/purging-type [ANBP]), assessed with Symptom Check-List 90 (SCL-90), Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), and Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire.


Depression, anxiety, interpersonal sensitivity (SCL-90), and ineffectiveness (EDI) had the highest centrality (strength from 1.19 to 1.35 in ANBP, and from 1.15 to 1.51 in ANR). Body mass index (BMI) had low centrality (0.14 ANBP and 0.41 ANR). Drive for thinness showed the strongest correlation with central nodes in ANBP (correlation around 0.44) and ANR (correlation range 0.38–0.47), and drive for thinness had higher centrality in ANR (1.15) than in ANBP (0.81), whereas body dissatisfaction in ANBP (0.73) than in ANR (0.61).


In addition to ED-core symptoms, psychiatric comorbid symptoms should be the focus of specific treatments in patients with AN, independently from BMI.

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