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Front Psychiatry ; 12: 789344, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581145


The negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on people with Eating Disorders (EDs) has been documented. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a history of traumatic experiences during childhood or adolescence was associated with a higher degree of psychopathological worsening during COVID-19 related lockdown and in the following re-opening period in this group of people. People with EDs undergoing a specialist ED treatment in different Italian services before the spreading of COVID-19 pandemic (n = 312) filled in an online survey to retrospectively evaluate ED specific and general psychopathology changes after COVID-19 quarantine. Based on the presence of self-reported traumatic experiences, the participants were split into three groups: patients with EDs and no traumatic experiences, patients with EDs and childhood traumatic experiences, patients with EDs and adolescent traumatic experiences. Both people with or without early traumatic experiences reported retrospectively a worsening of general and ED-specific psychopathology during the COVID 19-induced lockdown and in the following re-opening period. Compared to ED participants without early traumatic experiences, those with a self-reported history of early traumatic experiences reported heightened anxious and post-traumatic stress symptoms, ineffectiveness, body dissatisfaction, and purging behaviors. These differences were seen before COVID-19 related restrictions as well as during the lockdown period and after the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions. In line with the "maltreated ecophenotype" theory, these results may suggest a clinical vulnerability of maltreated people with EDs leading to a greater severity in both general and ED-specific symptomatology experienced during the exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Curr Psychiatry Rep ; 23(12): 83, 2021 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482289


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This systematic review aims to collect evidence regarding the impact of the SarsCov-2 pandemic on people affected by eating disorders (EDs) targeting the following variables: psychopathology changes, mechanisms of vulnerability or resilience, and perception of treatment modifications during the pandemic. RECENT FINDINGS: Since the beginning of the pandemic, a mental health deterioration has been detected in the general population and especially in people affected by pre-existing psychiatric conditions. Furthermore, mental healthcare has moved toward online treatment. ED people showed a trend toward worsening of ED-specific psychopathology and impairment in general psychopathology. The most common vulnerability mechanisms were social isolation and feelings of uncertainty, while heightened self-care and reduced social pressure were resilience factors. The online treatment, although raising many concerns related to its quality, was considered the best alternative to the face-to-face approach. These findings may support the idea that stressful events contribute to the exacerbation of ED psychopathology and highlight the relevance of internalizing symptoms in EDs. The identification of putative risk and resilience variables as well as of subjective factors affecting online treatment perception may inform healthcare professionals and may promote more personalized approaches.

COVID-19 , Feeding and Eating Disorders , Feeding and Eating Disorders/epidemiology , Feeding and Eating Disorders/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Psychopathology , SARS-CoV-2
J Affect Disord ; 285: 77-83, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087022


BACKGROUND: We assessed the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on specific Eating Disorder (ED) and general psychopathology in people with an ED diagnosis during the lockdown period and after the end of the related containment measures. METHODS: People with clinically defined diagnosis and undergoing treatment for an ED completed an online survey, which included adapted questions from standardized psychometric scales. Data relative to three different time periods (before, during and after the end of lockdown) were collected. Psychopathological changes over these periods were investigated and compared through one-way analysis of variance or covariance with repeated measures. RESULTS: Three hundred twelve people completed the survey (57.4% diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) or atypical AN, 20.2% with Bulimia Nervosa, 15.4% with Binge Eating Disorder, 7.05% with Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders). The severity of both specific and general psychopathology increased during the lockdown and the rise of general symptoms persisted in the following re-opening phase, except for suicide ideation. Almost all of these findings were not affected by ED diagnosis, participants' age and illness duration. LIMITATIONS: The retrospective nature of data collection is the main limitation of the study. CONCLUSIONS: People with EDs showed a COVID-19 emergency-induced worsening of both general and specific psychopathology. The effect on general psychopathology persisted in the re-opening period. These findings suggest a high stress vulnerability of ED individuals with important effects on internalizing symptoms, which are worth of attention by clinicians.

COVID-19 , Feeding and Eating Disorders , Communicable Disease Control , Feeding and Eating Disorders/epidemiology , Humans , Psychopathology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2