Intolerance of Uncertainty After Recovery From Eating Disorders: Its Relation To Anxiety and Depression
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Eating disorders (EDs) are grave psychiatric disorders. They are difficult to treat, and treatment often has suboptimal results that may partly be due to comorbidities such as anxiety and depression, which are related to more severe ED pathologies and seem to persist after recovery. Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) has been previously linked to EDs, anxiety, and depression. This study examines whether IU continues to present a problem after recovery and whether it is related to anxiety and depression. Hypotheses are that 1) ED-recovered women will report more IU compared to non-ED controls 2) there is a relationship between IU and anxiety levels ED- recovered women, and 3) there is a relationship between IU and depression levels in ED-recovered women. Participants were recruited and surveyed online using three questionnaires: The EDE-Q, which assesses the severity of ED pathology, the IUS-12 which measures intolerance of uncertainty, and the DASS21, which screens for symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. Data was analyzed using a t-test and two linear regressions. Participants included forty-nine ED- recovered women and eighty-eight non-ED controls. A t-test confirmed that IU levels are higher in ED-recovered women compared to non-ED controls. Two linear regression analyses confirmed a positive relationship between IU, anxiety, and depression in ED-recovered women. Results suggest that IU continues to pose a problem after recovery and it is associated with increased anxiety and depression. IU comes forward as a relevant factor to possibly incorporate into ED relapse prevention programs, which need to be improved.