OBJECTIVE: The relationship between psychopathology and alexithymia in obese patients is uncertain. The present study was performed to evaluate this relationship in a clinical sample of patients attending a centre for the diagnosis and treatment of obesity compared to a matched sample of non-obese subjects. METHODS: 293 consecutive obese patients (48 males, 245 females, mean age 45, 41±13.55 yrs; mean BMI 35.60±6.20) were compared with a control group made of 293 non-obese subjects (48 males, 245 females, mean age 45, 66±13.86 yrs; mean BMI 21.8±2.06); all subjects were interviewed by means of SCID I and SCID II together with several self-evaluation instruments including the TAS-20 (Toronto Alexithymia Scale) and SCL-90 (Symptom Check List, Revised). RESULTS: Alexithymia was significantly more frequent among obese patients compared to "normal" controls (12.9% vs 6.9%, p=0.010); moreover obese patients achieved significantly higher mean scores on subscales 1 and 2 and on overall scale of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale; comorbidity with axis I/II disorders, in particular Binge Eating Disorder, was associated with a significantly higher frequency of alexithymic traits and higher scores at TAS. CONCLUSIONS: Alexithymia and psychopathology are strongly correlated among obese patients seeking treatment. Routine evaluation of personality traits and comorbid psychopathology may be relevant in treatment of obesity.

Obesity, alexithymia and psychopathology: A case-control study

PINNA, FEDERICA;VELLUZZI, FERNANDA;LOVISELLI, ANDREA;CARPINIELLO, BERNARDO
2011

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The relationship between psychopathology and alexithymia in obese patients is uncertain. The present study was performed to evaluate this relationship in a clinical sample of patients attending a centre for the diagnosis and treatment of obesity compared to a matched sample of non-obese subjects. METHODS: 293 consecutive obese patients (48 males, 245 females, mean age 45, 41±13.55 yrs; mean BMI 35.60±6.20) were compared with a control group made of 293 non-obese subjects (48 males, 245 females, mean age 45, 66±13.86 yrs; mean BMI 21.8±2.06); all subjects were interviewed by means of SCID I and SCID II together with several self-evaluation instruments including the TAS-20 (Toronto Alexithymia Scale) and SCL-90 (Symptom Check List, Revised). RESULTS: Alexithymia was significantly more frequent among obese patients compared to "normal" controls (12.9% vs 6.9%, p=0.010); moreover obese patients achieved significantly higher mean scores on subscales 1 and 2 and on overall scale of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale; comorbidity with axis I/II disorders, in particular Binge Eating Disorder, was associated with a significantly higher frequency of alexithymic traits and higher scores at TAS. CONCLUSIONS: Alexithymia and psychopathology are strongly correlated among obese patients seeking treatment. Routine evaluation of personality traits and comorbid psychopathology may be relevant in treatment of obesity.
Obesity; lexithymia; Comorbidity; Psychopathology; Mental disorders; Anxiety disorders; Mood disorders; Binge eating disorders
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/91487
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