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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Having a history of Anorexia Nervosa: Implications for Bulimia Nervosa treatment

  • 1,
  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
  • 2
Journal of Eating Disorders20153 (Suppl 1) :O24

  • Published:


  • Eating Disorder
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Eating Disorder
  • Binge Eating
  • Bulimia Nervosa

The aim of this study was to examine, among treatment-seeking individuals with current BN: i) the proportion of those with an AN history (AN+); ii) whether AN+ patients differed from those without an AN history (AN-) in terms of eating disorder (ED) or general psychopathology; and iii) whether AN+ and AN-patients responded differently to CBT-E, in terms of symptoms reduction and attrition rates. Participants were 221 outpatients at the Centre for Clinical Interventions (CCI) Eating Disorders Service, WA. All participants were ≥16 years and met DSM-IV criteria for BN. Results showed that initially, AN+ patients had significantly lower BMI and a longer time since first ED diagnosis. The groups did not differ on levels of general psychopathology at presentation, rates of attrition or in the proportion achieving BN remission. Multilevel linear modelling showed that frequency of binge eating, vomiting and laxative misuse, and scores for EDEQ, perfectionism, depression, anxiety, stress and distress tolerance all improved significantly over treatment, but there was no difference improvement between AN+ and AN-patients. Results suggest that a history of AN does not detrimentally affect individuals' rates of recovery from BN or improvement in mental health factors, and supports a transdiagnostic approach to treatment.

Authors’ Affiliations

Centre for Clinical Interventions, Australia
University of Western Australia, Australia


© Dove et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.