Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown had a considerable impact on eating disorders (EDs). We evaluated the clinical features of Japanese ED patients before and after the first COVID-19 outbreak-related state of emergency (April 7, 2020). Methods: We studied 148 patients who were divided into two groups based on when they arrived at our clinic: before (Before group: n = 86) or after (After group: n = 62) the start of the first state of emergency. All patients completed the Japanese versions of the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) and Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI). Results: The After group was substantially younger than the Before group (p =.0187). Regardless of the ED type, patients who developed an ED during the first state of emergency tended to be significantly younger than those who developed one before. Differences in EDI characteristics were observed between the two groups. The PBI care subscale was notably higher (p =.0177) in the After group. The PBI maternal care subscale was the only statistically significant factor associated with age (β = -0.35, p <.0001). Conclusions: Home confinement associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing increase in parent-child closeness may have influenced the decreased age of ED patients at their initial consultation. Treatment interventions should consider the differences in the clinical features of EDs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry