Courses, conferences and meetings: April 2005 Archives
I had a great time at the 7th London International Conference on Eating Disorders last week. As usual, a wonderfully diverse and stimulating programme, very well organised by Rachel Bryant Waugh, Bryan Lask and their hardworking team of volunteers.
One of the highlights for me were Tuesday morning's plenary session on 'Coercion, collaboration and choice', with presentations by Philip Graham, Jacinta Tan and Josie Geller. And of course, Kelly Vitousek's workshop entitled 'Alienating patients from the anorexic self' considered the pros and cons of using the technique of 'externalising' with patients with anorexia. Whenever I hear Kelly speak I come away with my head buzzing with excitement and so many new ideas.
There was quite a bit of media coverage of the conference, particularly about Bryan Lask and colleagues' neuroimaging work. Bryan was on 'All in the Mind' on Radio 4 last week talking about this and other issues in eating disorders. The work was also mentioned in the Independent Newspaper.
I'll be giving my presentation entitled: 'Understanding Perfectionism, Persistence and Perseverance: Development of a multi-factorial measure' at the seventh London International Eating Disorders Conference tomorrow. Abstract is below, slides are available if you email me.
UNDERSTANDING PERSEVERANCE, PERSISTENCE AND PERFECTIONISM: DEVELOPMENT OF A MULTI-FACTORIAL MEASURE
Lucy Serpell, Glenn Waller, Pasco Fearon and Caroline Meyer
Background: Perfectionism is often cited as a causal/maintaining factor in eating disorders. There is also a lack of flexibility (‘perseverance’). Finally, anorexics have often been characterised as persistent and thorough. This study reports development of a measure (the Perseverance, Persistence and Perfectionism Questionnaire; PPPQ), to clarify and distinguish these aspects.
Method: Following initial measure development, 325 non-clinical individuals completed a 28-item measure of behaviours and cognitions associated with perfectionism, persistence and perseverance. Factor analysis was used to derive subscales. Their association with measures of eating (EDE-Q) and general psychopathology (Brief Symptom Inventory) was examined.
Results: The 3 factors which emerged, Perseverance, Persistence and Perfectionism, had robust psychometric properties. Perseverance was strongly associated with general and eating psychopathology, suggesting that it is the key determinant of distress. Perfectionism was moderately associated with psychopathology. Persistence appears to be a healthy trait.
Conclusion: The PPPQ is theoretically rooted, psychometrically sound and clinically valid. It suggests that perfectionism is a more complex entity than has been portrayed. Further research is needed to determine the utility of the PPPQ in clinical groups. However, treatment approaches might need to be targeted on reducing perseverant traits, while enhancing persistence as a more adaptive trait.