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Title: Mental health of individuals with and without eating disorders across six months and two waves of COVID-19.
Austin Authors: Phillipou, Andrea ;Tan, Eric J;Toh, Wei Lin;Van Rheenen, Tamsyn E;Meyer, Denny;Neill, Erica;Sumner, Philip;Rossell, Susan L
Affiliation: Mental Health
Centre for Mental Health, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Department of Psychiatry, Alfred Health, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Department of Mental Health, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, The University of Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Issue Date: Dec-2021
Date: 2021-09-07
Publication information: Eating Behaviors 2021; 43: 101564
Abstract: The COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in a significant mental health toll, and recent findings suggest that individuals with an eating disorder (ED) history may be particularly vulnerable. The current study aimed to: (1) identify changes in the pattern of mental health symptoms over the first six months of the pandemic between individuals with an ED history, compared to a community sample without an ED history (non-ED); and (2) identify differences in mental health symptoms and concerns between two waves of the virus and associated lockdowns. Data from 4915 respondents - 231 with an ED history - were compared across monthly time points from April to September 2020 on psychological symptoms including negative mood, quality of life, coping and hopefulness, as well as changes to eating and exercise behaviours. Mental health symptoms were increased in the ED group, but generally did not differ from non-ED in the pattern of symptoms reported over time. Increased depressive symptoms and restrictive eating behaviours were found across both groups in relation to the second wave/lockdown, as well as decreased hopefulness and quality of life. Respondents in both groups also reported coping worse during the second wave of the virus compared to the first wave. Although non-ED and ED groups tended to generally show the same pattern of symptoms, the mental health status of the ED group was significantly poorer than the non-ED group throughout the pandemic, and exacerbations in some symptoms (i.e. increased food restriction and depressive symptoms) is cause for concern.
DOI: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2021.101564
ORCID: 0000-0003-1009-6619
Journal: Eating Behaviors
PubMed URL: 34509935
PubMed URL:
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: COVID-19
Eating disorder
Mental health
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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