Previous studies have shown that people with eating disorders often have poor interpersonal problem-solving skills and a lot of therapy for these problems aims to improve these skills. However, there has been little research into problem-solving skills in people with binge-eating disorder. Researchers from the University of Freiburg in Germany compared 25 women with binge-eating disorder to 30 women who were overweight but who did not have a problem with binge-eating. The women were tested using a series of scenarios which were designed to measure their problem-solving abilities. These started with a problem and ended up with a solution but the women had to come up with the intervening steps themselves. The scenarios were: an argument with a partner; making friends in a new neighbourhood; being avoided by friends or difficulties with one's boss. The women with binge-eating disorder produced less effective and less specific solutions than the group without them and the worse their solutions were the more likely they were to binge.
Svaldi, J., Dorn, C. and Trentowska, M. - Effectiveness for interpersonal problem-solving is reduced in women with binge eating disorder European Eating Disorders Review doi: 10.1002/erv.1050
Article first published online: 19 OCT 2010