Anorexia Nervosa

Motivated to Survive: High Cooperativeness in Severe Anorexia Nervosa

Eating Disorders
By Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS


This study assessed the personality of severely ill patients with anorexia nervosa, restricting (AN-R) and binge-purge subtypes (AN-BP), during hospitalization for medical stabilization. Participants (N = 37) completed the Temperament and Character Inventory, Revised. Personality domains were similar between AN-R and AN-BP with the exception of cooperativeness. AN-R patients scored higher on this dimension, suggesting that individuals with restricting anorexia may be more tolerant of treatment during early medical stabilization. Future research is needed to further elucidate this novel finding in order to identify the point at which body mass index predicts a decline in cooperativeness and the potential need for new intervention strategies.

Written by

Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS

Dr. Philip S. Mehler began his career at Denver Health more than 35 years ago and was formerly its Chief of Internal Medicine and then Denver Health’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) until he was promoted…

ACUTE Earns Prestigious Center of Excellence Designation from Anthem
In 2018, the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders & Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health was honored by Anthem Health as a Center of Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders. ACUTE is the first medical unit ever to achieve this designation in the field of eating disorders. It comes after a rigorous review process.

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