Treatment Outcomes for Eating Disorder Patients with and Without Comorbid Substance Abuse Diagnoses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Jamie Shapiro

First Committee Member

Hale Martin

Second Committee Member

Tamara Pryor


Substance use, Quantitative research, Assessment, EDI-3, Treatment, Eating disorder

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


The impact of comorbid substance abuse and eating disorder diagnoses in an eating disorder treatment facility remains uncertain. Recent data suggest that in a substance abuse treatment setting, patients with comorbid eating disorders fared less favorably than patients without a comorbid diagnosis (Cohen et al., 2010; Glasner-Edwards et al., 2011). The purpose of this study is to compare eating disorder symptoms over the course of treatment for patients with and without comorbid substance abuse diagnoses in an eating disorder treatment facility. Archival data from an eating disorder treatment facility was used. Twenty-seven women with comorbid eating disorder and substance abuse diagnoses (EDSUD) were compared to twenty-seven women with an eating disorder diagnosis (ED) only. The subjects were compared on three scales from the Eating Disorder Inventory-III (EDI-3) by group, and pre- and post-treatment. The scales were Personal Alienation (PA), Interoceptive Deficits (ID), and Emotional Dysregulation (EmD). There was a significant decrease in symptoms post-treatment for all subjects on the PA and ID scales, and there was a significant difference between the EDSUD subjects and ED subjects on two scales. EDSUD subjects fared significantly less favorably on the ID and EmD scales. Women with EDSUD report more symptoms of Interoceptive Deficits and Emotional Dysregulation when compared to women with an ED diagnosis and no comorbid substance use. Subjects benefited from treatment in terms of less Personal Alienation and Interoceptive Deficits.


20 pages

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