Prospective Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Psychiatr. Jul 19, 2021; 11(7): 375-387
Published online Jul 19, 2021. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v11.i7.375
Classification of subtypes of patients with eating disorders by correspondence analysis
Josune Martín, Ane Anton-Ladislao, Ángel Padierna, Belén Berjano, José María Quintana
Josune Martín, Ane Anton-Ladislao, José María Quintana, Department of Research, Galdakao-Usansolo Hospital, Galdakao 48960, Spain
Josune Martín, Kronikgune Institute for Health Services Research, Barakaldo 48902, Spain
Josune Martín, Ángel Padierna, José María Quintana, Health Services Research on Chronic Diseases Network – REDISSEC, Galdakao 48960, Spain
Ángel Padierna, Belén Berjano, Department of Psychiatry, Galdakao-Usansolo Hospital, Galdakao 48960, Spain
Author contributions: Martín J, Padierna A, and Quintana JM designed the study; Martín J, Padierna A and Berjano B performed the data collection; Martín J and Antón-Ladislao A performed data analyses; Martín J and Padierna A were responsible for manuscript writing; all the authors contributed to interpreting the data; and all authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Supported by the Carlos III Health Institute Project “Adaptation and Validation of the Clinical Assessment Inventory for Eating Disorders”, No. PI09/90832.
Institutional review board statement: The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Galdakao-Usansolo Hospital.
Clinical trial registration statement: The clinical trial is registered with, using identifier NCT02483117. Details can be found at
Informed consent statement: All study participants provided informed written consent prior to study enrollment.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors of this manuscript having no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Data sharing statement: There is no additional data available.
CONSORT 2010 statement: The authors have read the CONSORT 2010 statement, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the CONSORT 2010 statement.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Josune Martín, PhD, Research Scientist, Department of Research, Galdakao-Usansolo Hospital, B Labeaga s/n, Galdakao 48960, Spain.
Received: February 8, 2021
Peer-review started: February 8, 2021
First decision: March 30, 2021
Revised: April 9, 2021
Accepted: June 16, 2021
Article in press: June 16, 2021
Published online: July 19, 2021

Grouping eating disorders (ED) patients into subtypes could help improve the establishment of more effective diagnostic and treatment strategies.


To identify clinically meaningful subgroups among subjects with ED using multiple correspondence analysis (MCA).


A prospective cohort study was conducted of all outpatients diagnosed for an ED at an Eating Disorders Outpatient Clinic to characterize groups of patients with ED into subtypes according to sociodemographic and psychosocial impairment data, and to validate the results using several illustrative variables. In all, 176 (72.13%) patients completed five questionnaires (clinical impairment assessment, eating attitudes test-12, ED-short form health-related quality of life, metacognitions questionnaire, Penn State Worry Questionnaire) and sociodemographic data. ED patient groups were defined using MCA and cluster analysis. Results were validated using key outcomes of subtypes of ED.


Four ED subgroups were identified based on the sociodemographic and psychosocial impairment data.


ED patients were differentiated into well-defined outcome groups according to specific clusters of compensating behaviours.

Keywords: Multiple correspondence analysis, Eating disorders, Compensating behaviour, Observational descriptive study

Core Tip: This is the first study to apply multiple correspondence analysis to eating disorders (ED) diagnostic data and to use cluster analysis (CA) in such detail to search for ED patient groups in this area. Multiple correspondence analysis and CA made it possible to identify different typologies of patients with specific features. Grouping ED patients into subtypes could help improve the establishment of more effective strategies of diagnosis and treatment, and improve patient care and prognosis in clinical practice.