Conceptualizing eating disorder psychopathology using an anxiety disorders framework: Evidence and implications for exposure-based clinical research

Katherine Schaumberg, Erin E. Reilly, Sasha Gorrell, Cheri A. Levinson, Nicholas R. Farrell, Tiffany A. Brown, Kathryn M. Smith, Lauren M. Schaefer, Jamal H. Essayli, Ann F. Haynos, Lisa M. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Eating disorders (EDs) and anxiety disorders (ADs) evidence shared risk and significant comorbidity. Recent advances in understanding of anxiety-based disorders may have direct application to research and treatment efforts for EDs. The current review presents an up-to-date, behavioral conceptualization of the overlap between anxiety-based disorders and EDs. We identify ways in which anxiety presents in EDs, consider differences between EDs and ADs relevant to treatment adaptions, discuss how exposure-based strategies may be adapted for use in ED treatment, and outline directions for future mechanistic, translational, and clinical ED research from this perspective. Important research directions include: simultaneous examination of the extent to which EDs are characterized by aberrant avoidance-, reward-, and/or habit-based neurobiological and behavioral processes; improvement in understanding of how nutritional status interacts with neurobiological characteristics of EDs; incorporation of a growing knowledge of biobehavioral signatures in ED treatment planning; development of more comprehensive exposure-based treatment approaches for EDs; testing whether certain exposure interventions for AD are appropriate for EDs; and improvement in clinician self-efficacy and ability to use exposure therapy for EDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101952
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Volume83
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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