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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.

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