Male Anorexia Nervosa: an Exploratory Study
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The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify the etiology and clinical characteristics of male anorexia and devise a more comprehensive definition of anorexia nervosa that encompasses both males and females. An additional purpose was to develop an instrument that identifies risk factors associated with anorexia nervosa in males and aid mental health and medical practitioners in making this diagnosis.
A review of literature illuminated unique features of the male anorexic as well as characteristics shared with females. The Assessment of Anorexia Nervosa in Males Questionnaire (AANMQ) was developed for this study to assess an expert panel's clinical observations regarding potential misdiagnosis and treatment gaps among males with anorexia nervosa. This panel included one male anorexic, one parent of an anorexic male, and eight mental health and medical practitioners who were selected based on personal and clinical experiences working with male anorexics. Data were collected via face-to-face and telephone interviews. A compilation of literature and the expert panel's responses to the AANMQ resulted in the content suggested for the Assessment of Male Anorexia Nervosa (AMAN), a diagnostic inventory that provides a comprehensive profile specific to male anorexics. This instrument is to be used by mental health and medical practitioners for the diagnosis of this disorder. Even when anorexia nervosa is correctly diagnosed, services for males are selective and inadequate due to treatment models being geared toward a female population. The AMAN compensates for the missing elements and gender-biased nature of DSM-IV and permits accurate assessment and diagnosis of male anorexia.
- Doctoral Dissertations