Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) and Child EDE

There are a whole range of different eating disorder assessment tools currently available, such as interviews, surveys and questionnaires, with the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) also adapted for younger sufferers, known as the Child EDE or ChEDE. The EDE is a semi-structured interview instrument which was developed by Cooper & Fairburn in 1993.

eating disorder

Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) – Diagnosing Anorexia and Bulimia

Those undertaking the EDE will be asked key questions by a trained interviewer, who may then ask further questions to clarify specific concepts being investigated. According to Lask & Bryant-Waugh (2008) in Eating Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence, the EDE has the following key characteristics:

-four subscales – restraint, eating/shape/weight concern
-provides frequency of eating disorder subscales
-identifies severity of eating disorder subscales
-provides diagnoses of anorexia (based on DSM-IV criteria)
-provides diagnoses of bulimia (based on DSM-IV)
-mainly focuses on present state and four weeks prior
-some questions focus on previous three months
-available as questionnaire (EDE-Q)

The EDE is not only used as an eating disorder diagnostic and assessment tool, but is also recognised as a practical means of being able to monitor a patient’s progress during therapy. Although the EDE is adapted for use as a questionnaire, this is unsuitable for younger children or those with low reading ability or learning difficulties.

Child Eating Disorder Examination (ChEDE) – Anorexia in Children

The EDE is recognised as being the only eating disorder instrument that has been adapted for use with children. In order to adapt the EDE for use with younger sufferers, as identified by Lask and Bryant-Waugh (2008), the ChEDE contains the following four modifications:

-language changes, used to make it easier for children to comprehend
-Parents complete a diary which the child uses as a memory cue.
-importance of weight assessed by arranging life aspects in order
-Iiportance of shape written and arranged in order of importance

This version of the EDE for children was piloted by Bryant-Waugh et al. (1996) in a specialist easting disorders clinic, with most of the children’s responses proving to be consistent with clinical observation. Another study using the ChEDE was undertaken by Frampton (1996), who identified that children clinically diagnosed with anorexia nervosa achieved almost the same scores as that of adults with the condition.

As highlighted above, there are many eating disorder assessment tools, with the EDE being adapted for use in a questionnaire format (EDE-Q) and for children (ChEDE). Essentially, the EDE and ChEDE are assessment and diagnostic tools which are able to identify eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, and may also be utilised to monitor progress within therapy.


  • nikki

    Its really hard to keep a track of the eating of children among the busy schedule , it increased my awareness about the possibility of the eating disorder, it is some thing to be taken care of regarding proper growth of children.

  • Imran Ahmed

    thank you. It helps me alot. For a child you need to be very careful about their nutritions for building up perfectly.
    Eating disorder can be seen through their body and also their mental state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.