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Mentalization in developmental age’s eating disorders: Comparison between anorexia nervosa and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 August 2021

F. Gigliotti*
Affiliation:
Department Of Human Neuroscience, Section Of Child And Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
C. Basile
Affiliation:
Department Of Human Neuroscience, Section Of Child And Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
M. Colaiori
Affiliation:
Department Of Human Neuroscience, Section Of Child And Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
A. Terrinoni
Affiliation:
Department Of Human Neuroscience, Section Of Child And Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
I. Ardizzone
Affiliation:
Department Of Human Neuroscience, Section Of Child And Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
F. Di Santo
Affiliation:
Department Of Human Neuroscience, Section Of Child And Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
*
*Corresponding author.

Abstract

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Introduction

Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) are two primary restrictive eating disorders described in DSM-5, characterized both of them by insufficient food intake. This behavior In ARFID is not driven by weight and shape concerns that tipify AN. While there are several studies that highlight the presence of mentalizing difficulties in AN, there are still no data about mentalizing profile in ARFID.

Objectives

The aim of this study was to better characterize the mentalizing profile of AN and ARFID children and adolescent.

Methods

Two groups of AN or ARFID outpatients (15+15), aged 6 to 18 years, were assessed by Alexythimia Questionnaire for Children (AQC) and Toronto Alexythimia Scale-20 (TAS-20) to evaluate alexythimia; by Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and Basic Empathy Scale (BES) to assess empathy; by NEPSY-II social perception subtests to evaluate Theory of Mind and Emotion recognition. Exclusion criteria were the presence of intellectual disability, pervasive developmental disorders and binge eating behavior (eating disorder other than AN or ARFID).

Results

Preliminary results showed different mentalizing profiles between ARFID and AN patients, with differences in the score for affective empathy, lower in ARFID than in AN patients while the score for alexythimia traits resulted higher in AN population.

Conclusions

By our results, mentalization impairment appeared trans-diagnostic across several eating disorders. This first result should be further improved to better analyze this construct in order to develop effective clinical intervention to improve the subject’s affective regulation.

Disclosure

No significant relationships.

Type
Abstract
Creative Commons
Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BY
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the European Psychiatric Association
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Mentalization in developmental age’s eating disorders: Comparison between anorexia nervosa and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)
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