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Screening for abnormal eating attitudes and psychiatric morbidity in an unselected population of 15-year-old schoolgirls

  • A. H. Mann (a1), A. Wakeling (a1), K. Wood (a1), E. Monck (a1), R. Dobbs (a1) and G. Szmukler (a1)...

Synopsis

The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) have been validated in an unselected population of 15-year-old South London schoolgirls. Scores on the questionnaires were compared with the results of standard interview. The EAT was found to be an efficient screening instrument for abnormal eating attitudes and behaviour, whereas the GHQ was less satisfactory in its ability to screen for psychiatric morbidity in this age group than in adults. At the optimal cutting points, 6·9% of this population gave a positive response to the EAT and 19·3% gave a positive response to the GHQ. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between the two sets of scores

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Corresponding author

1Address for correspondence: Dr A. H. Mann, Academic Department of Psychiatry, Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, London NW3 2QG.

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