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J Athl Train. 2000 Oct-Dec; 35(4): 431–440.
PMCID: PMC1323370

Evaluation of a Screening Test for Female College Athletes with Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating

Deborah L. Nagel, PhD, RD, EdS,* David R. Black, PhD, MPH, CHES,* Larry J. Leverenz, PhD, ATC,* and Daniel C. Coster, PhD

Abstract

Objective:

To develop a screening test to detect female college athletes with eating disorders/disordered eating (ED/ DE). No validated eating disorder screening tests specifically for athletes have been available.

Design and Setting:

In this cross-sectional study, subjects from a large midwestern university completed 3 objective tests and a structured diagnostic interview.

Measurements:

A new test, developed and pilot tested by the researchers (Athletic Milieu Direct Questionnaire, AMDQ), and 2 tests normed for the general population (Eating Disorder Inventory-2, Bulimia Test-Revised) were used to identify ED/DE athletes. A structured, validated, diagnostic interview (Eating Disorder Examination, version 12.OD) was used to determine which test was most effective in screening female college athletes.

Subjects:

Subjects included 149 female athletes, ages 18 to 25 years, from 11 Division I and select club sports.

Results:

ED/DE subjects (35%) were found in almost every sport. Of the ED/DE subjects, 65% exhibited disordered eating, 25% were bulimic, 8% were classified as eating disordered not otherwise specified (NOS), and 2% were anorexic. The AMDQ more accurately identified ED/DE than any test or combination of items. The AMDQ produced superior results on 7 of 9 epidemiologic analyses; sensitivity was 80% and specificity was 77%, meaning that it correctly classified approximately 4 of every 5 persons who were truly exhibiting an eating disorder or disordered eating.

Conclusions:

We recommend that the AMDQ subsets, which met statistical criteria, be used to screen for ED/DE to enable early identification of athletes at the disordered eating or NOS stage and to initiate interventions before the disorder progresses.

Full text

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association