Effect of Perfectionism and Social Comparisons on Progress in Treatment for Eating Disorders in Inpatient Settings

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Williams, Kelly
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Eating disorders (EDs) are debilitating disorders that are expensive to treat and have a high mortality rate. The current treatment often leads to relapses in those affected. Individuals with EDs suffer from many problematic behaviours and patterns, but two of the most concerning are perfectionism and the tendency to engage in social comparisons. Because inpatient treatment settings congregate individuals with similar maladaptive behaviours, these two qualities have the potential to play a large part in inpatients' interactions and could result in disruptions in the treatment progress. With the goal of contributing to the knowledge on how this issue can be better understood and improved, the author aimed to answer the question "To what extent do perfectionism and social comparisons between patients in inpatient ED treatment settings affect their progress in recovery?" The author conducted a literature review on the topic of perfectionism and social comparisons in inpatient individuals who received treatment for their EDs and reviewed 10 studies relevant to this topic. The themes that emerged from the data include (a) perfectionism is associated with ED symptomology, (b) social comparisons influence ED symptomology, and (c) group living affects residents of inpatient clinics the effects of group living on residents of inpatient ED clinics. The findings signify the need for mental-health professionals to attend to factors that contribute to the maintenance of EDs while they treat inpatients. These findings offer insight into the maladaptive patterns in individuals in inpatient settings that researchers should target.
perfectionism , social comparisons , social comparison theory , eating disorders , inpatient treatment , inpatient settings , treatment
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