Insight in anorexia nervosa
Insight in psychiatry refers to the patient's ability to recognise themselves as having a mental illness, their capacity to acknowledge their psychopathological experiences and the awareness of the consequences of their mental disorder. It is a judgement of great importance as it reflects the severity of illness, compliance with treatment plans and suicidal risk. Insight has been investigated especially in psychotic states where lack of insight is considered characteristic. Studies have shown that lack of insight is characteristic in schizophrenia and is impaired in bipolar disorders. Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric disorder with substantial morbidity and mortality. This often devastating disorder is characterised by abnormal patterns of eating behaviours and disturbances in attitudes towards weight and perception of body shape. There have been very few studies exploring the relationship between insight and anorexia nervosa. This study is an attempt to explore insight and the factors that influence it in patients with anorexia nervosa. The Markova and Berrios Insight Scale and a modified version of David's 'Awareness of Illness' Insight Subscale were used to assess the levels of insight in patients with anorexia nervosa. The results of the study suggest that the level of insight in patients with anorexia nervosa is impaired. The results also suggest that body mass index, eating attitudes and behaviours and duration of illness are factors associated with insight in patients with anorexia nervosa.
Advisor: Romans, Sarah; Mullen, Richard
Degree Name: Master of Health Sciences
Degree Discipline: Psychological Medicine
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis