Objective: This study investigated the personal views of eating disorder (ED) patients on their quality of life (QOL). Method: The views of 146 current ED patients and 146 former ED patients on their QOL were studied using a self-report questionnaire. Patients were requested to name the most important aspects of their life and they subsequently rated themselves on these aspects. Qualitative analysis clustered items into meaningful categories. Results: A sense of belonging was mentioned most often (93.0%) by the participants. Work or education, health and well-being were also mentioned frequently. Furthermore, participants stated a sense of self, disease-specific psychopathology, life skills, leisure activities, a sense of purpose, financial situation, living condition, and pets. Current ED patients more frequently mentioned disease-specific psychopathology than former ED patients. Current ED patients reported poor QOL on most domains, particularly on self-image and well-being. Former ED patients reported better QOL than current ED patients, but ratings were just above average. Conclusion: The views on QOL of ED patients broadens the scope of relevant domains of QOL. The assessment of these views may be a useful adjunct to the use of standardized QOL measures.
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