Developing consensus on the definition of remission and recovery for research.

Tracey D. Wade, James Lock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The current research investigated whether a consensus among professional eating disorder researchers existed for definitions of remission and recovery that could be used in research. Method: Membership of the Eating Disorder Research Society and attendees at the 2018 annual meeting in Sydney were invited to participate in this investigation. Two surveys were conducted with 62 and 122 respondents, respectively. The first survey used a mix of forced choice yes/no or scaled responses. The second survey was a free response to the question “which definitions of recovery do you favor?”. Results: A majority consensus emerged about three issues. First, it was agreed that it was important to develop a standard definition of recovery for research purposes. Second, recovery needed to be evident over a 12-month period, with remission evident over a 3- to 12-month period. Third, recovery and remission required the absence of diagnostic criteria in addition to the presence of functional recovery. Discussion: Consensus is apparent in the field. We suggest that future research seeks to: (a) validate the most commonly researched definition of remission and recovery across different eating disorders using a standardized battery of assessments, and (b) better understand differences in self-assessed and psychometrically assessed recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1204-1208
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • diagnostic
  • eating disorders
  • functional
  • recovery
  • remission


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