Trail making task performance in inpatients with Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

Eva Vall, Tracey Wade

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Set-shifting inefficiencies have been consistently identified in adults with anorexia nervosa (AN). It is less clear to what degree similar inefficiencies are present in those with bulimia nervosa (BN). It is also unknown whether perfectionism is related to set-shifting performance. We employed a commonly used set-shifting measure, the Trail Making Test (TMT), to compare the performance of inpatients with AN and BN with a healthy control sample. We also investigated whether perfectionism predicted TMT scores. Only the BN sample showed significantly suboptimal performance, while the AN sample was indistinguishable from controls on all measures. There were no differences between the AN subtypes (restrictive or binge/purge), but group sizes were small. Higher personal standards perfectionism was associated with better TMT scores across groups. Higher concern over mistakes perfectionism predicted better accuracy in the BN sample. Further research into the set-shifting profile of individuals with BN or binge/purge behaviours is needed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)304-311
    Number of pages8
    JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


    • anorexia nervosa
    • bulimia nervosa
    • cognitive flexibility
    • eating disorders
    • perfectionism
    • set-shifting


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