The British Journal of Psychiatry
The clinical features of bulimia nervosa.
C G Fairburn, P J Cooper

Abstract

The clinical features of 35 patients with bulimia nervosa are described. All the patients came from the Oxford area and each fulfilled conservative operational diagnostic criteria. Standardised assessment procedures were used including a structured interview designed to assess the psychopathology characteristic of patients with eating disorders. It was confirmed that these patients have grossly disturbed eating habits accompanied by morbid beliefs and values concerning their shape and weight. Although the majority had a weight within the normal range, a history of weight disturbance was common. There was a high degree of psychiatric morbidity with depressive symptoms being particularly prominent. A quarter of the sample had previously fulfilled diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa, and this group closely resembled those patients with no such history.