A multifaceted approach to assessment of mentalization: the mentalization profile in patients with eating disorders



Purpose: The existing literature, however sparse, suggests an association between eating disorders (ED) and mentalization ability. The aim of this study was to investigate the mentalization profile (MP) in patients with ED. It was hypothesized that patients with ED would have a lower degree of mentalization ability compared to healthy controls (HC). Materials and methods: The study is based on a cross-sectional survey on a sample of patients diagnosed with ED compared to a HC group. Results and conclusion: A total of 88 participants, distributed between patients with ED (N = 30) and HC (N = 58) were included. Results: The study results show statistically significant differences between patients with ED and HC. Thus, patients with an ED scored significantly higher on Reflective Functioning Questionnaire (uncertainty about mental states) (RFQ-U) (mean difference: 0.31, p = 0.048) and Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) (mean difference: 0.44, p = 0.019) compared to the HC. Furthermore, the results indicated that patients with Bulimia Nervosa (BN) may have a lower ability to mentalize about oneself as well as a generally lower ability to mentalize across different dimensions of the mentalization profile as the BN group scored significantly higher on RFQ-U (mean difference: 0.71, p = 0.023) and TAS-20 (mean difference: 0.89, p = 0.006) compared to the Anorexia Nervosa (AN) group. Further research should be conducted to gain knowledge on the mentalization ability in patients with an ED.
Dato for tilgængelighed2023
ForlagTaylor & Francis