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Oral presentation | Open | Published:

Assessment of quality of life in people with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa: a comparison of generic and specific instruments


To compare the psychometric properties of generic and disease-specific measures of health-related quality of life (HRQoL).


63 participants with anorexia nervosa (AN) completed measures of generic HRQoL (Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form; SF-12), disease-specific HRQoL (Eating Disorders Quality of Life Questionnaire; EDQOL), functional impairment (days out of role; Work and Social Adjustment Scale), and eating disorder severity (Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire) at baseline, post-treatment, and 6-12 months follow-up. The SF-12 and EDQOL were compared on internal consistency, convergence validity, and criterion-related validity.


The EDQOL had stronger internal consistency α = 0.92 vs. 0.80), convergence with eating disorder severity (r = 0.06 to 0.53 vs. 0.11 to -0.39), and criterion-related (functional impairment) validity (β = 0.37 - 0.46) compared to the SF-12. The SF-12 converged more strongly with functional impairment (r = -0.31 to -0.63 vs. 0.06 to 0.70). The SF-12 (β = 0.41 - 0.42) and EDQOL (β = 0.33 - 0.38) had similar criterion-related (eating disorder severity) validity.


The EDQOL and SF-12 should be used where possible in tandem as measures of HRQoL, whereas the SF-12 may be preferable in studies where comparisons are to be made with other populations.

This abstract was presented in the Anorexia Nervosa – Characteristics and Treatment stream of the 2013 ANZAED Conference.

Author information

Correspondence to Deborah Mitchison.

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  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Functional Impairment
  • Eating Disorder
  • Medical Outcome Study
  • Social Adjustment