OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether obese patients with binge eating (BE) have higher alexithymic features; to explore the different relationships between psychological features (alexithymia, depression, and anxiety) and BE. METHOD: Three hundred sixty one obese BE-patients were evaluated for alexithymia, psychological distress, and BE. Alexithymia was measured with the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20); BE was assessed with the BE Scale (BES), and depression and anxiety symptoms were evaluated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). RESULTS: Patients with BE reported significantly higher TAS-20 total scores than those without BE (p < .001). The SEM analysis showed that the difficulty in identifying feelings (DIF) and difficulty in describing feelings (DDF) components of alexithymia affected BE along different pathways. DIF was found as a major factor influencing altered eating both directly (p = .20*) and above all through the mediation of psychological distress (p = .19***), whereas DDF affected BE only through psychological distress at a lesser extent (p = .09**). DISCUSSION: Alexithymic difficulties in affective awareness may play an important role in the onset and maintenance of BE, especially when patients experienced anxiety and depression symptoms. Clinicians involved in the management of obesity should address the combination of alexithymic traits and emotional distress by planning effective client-focused interventions.

Alexithymia and binge eating in obese outpatients who are starting a weight-loss program: A structural equation analysis

Conti, Chiara
Primo
;
Di Francesco, Giulia
Secondo
;
Lanzara, Roberta;Guagnano, Maria Teresa
Penultimo
;
Porcelli, Pietro
Ultimo
2019

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether obese patients with binge eating (BE) have higher alexithymic features; to explore the different relationships between psychological features (alexithymia, depression, and anxiety) and BE. METHOD: Three hundred sixty one obese BE-patients were evaluated for alexithymia, psychological distress, and BE. Alexithymia was measured with the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20); BE was assessed with the BE Scale (BES), and depression and anxiety symptoms were evaluated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). RESULTS: Patients with BE reported significantly higher TAS-20 total scores than those without BE (p < .001). The SEM analysis showed that the difficulty in identifying feelings (DIF) and difficulty in describing feelings (DDF) components of alexithymia affected BE along different pathways. DIF was found as a major factor influencing altered eating both directly (p = .20*) and above all through the mediation of psychological distress (p = .19***), whereas DDF affected BE only through psychological distress at a lesser extent (p = .09**). DISCUSSION: Alexithymic difficulties in affective awareness may play an important role in the onset and maintenance of BE, especially when patients experienced anxiety and depression symptoms. Clinicians involved in the management of obesity should address the combination of alexithymic traits and emotional distress by planning effective client-focused interventions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/705776
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