Facets of perfectionism, impulsivity and their associations with eating disorder symptoms: A latent profile analysis
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Perfectionism and impulsivity are both found to play a central role in the etiology of eating disorders (ED). Classifying ED patients based on personality traits have shown clinical utility and revealed valuable information about the otherwise heterogeneous sample of ED patients. We aimed to find latent profiles based on facets of perfectionism, impulsivity and ED symptoms. The changes in ED symptoms before and after inpatient treatment were also assessed. The latent profile analysis was performed on a sample of 274 women, of whom 164 were ED patients and 110 healthy controls. ED patients were diagnosed with bulimia nervosa (n=79), anorexia nervosa restricting (n=59), anorexia nervosa binge-eating/purging type (n=11), or binge eating disorder (n=13). We identified the 5-class model to be the best fit. The five emerged classes were named: 1) resilient (low perfectionism/moderate impulsivity levels;n=23), 2) healthy (low perfectionism/low impulsivity levels; n=142), 3) restrictive (moderate perfectionism/low impulsivity levels;n=53), 4) emotionally dysregulated (high perfectionism/high impulsivity levels;n=16), 5) behaviorally dysregulated (moderate perfectionism/high impulsivity levels;n=40) class. The data for assessing changes in ED symptoms was available for a subsample of 39 ED patients. Members of restrictive and behaviorally dysregulated class showed a significant decrease in ED symptoms at the end of the inpatient treatment, while members of emotionally dysregulated and healthy class had no changes. Our findings support the meaningfulness of classifying ED patients based on perfectionism, impulsivity and ED symptoms, and emphasize the importance of considering personality profiles in treatment planning.