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Title page for ETD etd-04012006-143949

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Maxwell, Melissa A.
Author's Email Address melissa.maxwell@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-04012006-143949
Title Assessment of Hyperphagic Behavior in Prader-Willi Syndrome
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. Elisabeth Dykens Committee Member
  • hyperphagia
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • measurement
  • obesity
Date of Defense 2006-03-30
Availability unrestricted
Complications of obesity resulting from hyperphagia remain the leading cause of death in Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). This study introduces the Hyperphagia Questionnaire (HQ), a new 13-item, informant-based measure that examines the range and severity of food-related behaviors in persons with Prader-Willi syndrome. Factor analyses, conducted with 153 questionnaires, produced two robust factors that hang together conceptually and reflect Hyperphagic Behaviors and Hyperphagic Ideation, respectively. The HQ also includes a food severity score, based on definitions of symptom-related impairment used in psychiatric nosology (DSM-IV-TR, APA, 2000). Examining correlates of the three factors, no gender or IQ effects were found, but the factors did relate to broader maladaptive and compulsive behaviors. Overall, our results suggest that food-related behaviors are specific to food, whereas the severity of food problems and food-related thinking are associated with other, non-food behavioral problems, including non-food compulsivity, internalizing, and externalizing difficulties. The HQ is a promising outcome tool for novel clinical trials and behavioral interventions aimed at monitoring and reducing problematic food behaviors in Prader-Willi syndrome.
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