A number of fine instruments are available to help healthcare professionals assess for eating disorders. Structured instruments, self-report measures, medical, and nutrition assessments offer support for the tasks of diagnosing and treating these illnesses. Professionals from various disciplines (i.e., medicine, psychology, psychotherapy, nutrition) will find utility in the broad variety of available assessment materials.
The type of instrument selected for use will depend on the training and background of the healthcare professional, as well as the goal for assessment. Do you need help with accurate diagnosis? Are you attempting to formulate a treatment plan? Is healthy nutrition your primary goal?
While assessment instruments are not a substitute for a well conducted interview (diagnostic or nutritional), information obtained through the use of assessment materials can assist significantly in understanding a patient's symptoms and clinical presentation, as well as in developing a treatment plan and addressing therapeutic needs.
A variety of self-report measures can also be extremely useful in the assessment process. According to Assessment of Eating Disorders, self-report instruments can be useful to quantify symptoms, verify diagnosis, examine specific clinical features, and examine change in a patient's symptoms over time.
Useful self-report measures include:
The Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI-3). The EDI-3 includes 12 sub-scales useful for treatment planning and provides normative scores for clinical and illustrative purposes. Responses on individual items provide fruitful content for therapeutic exploration as well.
Click here to see information about sample items from the EDI-3:
The Eating Disorder Examination -Questionnaire (EDE-Q) is a self-report adaptation of the structured interview version developed by Fairburn and Cooper. The EDE-Q has been hailed as one of the most accurate methods of assessing binge eating. The Binge Eating Scale is a newer instrument that has also proven to be useful with this population.