Eating Disorders Inventory

Discover the Eating Disorders Inventory, an essential tool for diagnosing and managing eating disorders used by healthcare experts.

By Chloe Smith on Jun 03, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is an Eating Disorders Inventory?

The (EDI) is a comprehensive tool used primarily in clinical and research settings to assess the presence and severity of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. This self-report questionnaire delves into various psychological traits and symptom clusters that are typically associated with these disorders.

The EDI is structured around numerous subscales, each focusing on a specific facet related to eating disorders. These subscales encompass many aspects, including but not limited to drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, perfectionism, interpersonal distrust, and interoceptive awareness. Each item within these subscales is rated on a 6-point scale, providing a granular view of an individual's symptoms and psychological state.

The latest iteration, EDI-3, has broadened its scope to include scales for assessing other mental health conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety, and eating disorders. This expansion has transformed the EDI from a specialized tool into a versatile instrument capable of providing a holistic understanding of a patient's overall psychological well-being.

For healthcare professionals, the EDI is an invaluable resource. It offers critical insights to guide the diagnostic process and inform treatment planning. It can also support professionals in understanding the eating disorder risk an individual may be at. When integrated with Electronic Health Records, the EDI becomes even more powerful, offering a comprehensive, longitudinal view of a patient's mental health journey.

Are you looking for an Eating Disorder Treatment Plan for your patient? Check out our video below:

Printable Eating Disorders Inventory

Download this Eating Disorders Inventory to better diagnose and manage eating disorders.

How does it work?

The Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI) is a diagnostic tool for healthcare professionals to assess the presence and severity of eating disorders. Here's how it works:

Step 1: Preparation 

Before beginning the EDI, ensure the patient understands the purpose of the inventory. Explain that their responses will help provide a comprehensive overview of their mental health, specifically eating disorders. Provide them with a Printable Eating Disorders Inventory to fill out.

Step 2: Completion of the inventory 

The patient will complete the self-report questionnaire comprising various items spread across numerous subscales. Each item should be rated on a 6-point scale based on the individual's feelings or behaviors. The patient must answer honestly to ensure the most accurate results.

Step 3: Analysis of subscales 

The EDI comprises various subscales like drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, and perfectionism. Responses to these items are analyzed to gauge the severity of eating disorder symptoms.

Step 4: Scoring 

Each response is scored, and the scores are added to create a total for each subscale. Higher scores typically indicate a higher level of eating disorder symptoms or tendencies.

Step 5: Interpretation of results 

Healthcare professionals will interpret the results based on the scores from each subscale. They may use the results to diagnose an eating disorder or to assess the severity of an existing disorder.

Step 6: Integration with electronic health records 

The EDI scores can be integrated into electronic health records for seamless tracking and management. This allows healthcare providers to monitor progress and adjust treatment plans as necessary.

Step 7: Follow-up 

Based on the results of the EDI, healthcare professionals may recommend further assessments, therapy, or other interventions. Regular follow-ups and reassessments using the EDI can help track the patient's progress and response to treatment.

Eating Disorders Inventory example (sample)

The Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI) is a self-report questionnaire primarily used to measure psychological traits or symptom clusters in individuals with eating disorders. It's typically available as an Eating Disorders Inventory PDF for easy distribution and use in clinical settings.

The EDI comprises several subscales that focus on specific aspects of eating disorders, such as the drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, perfectionism, and interpersonal distrust. Each item within these subscales is rated on a 6-point scale based on how much the individual agrees with each statement.

For example, under the "drive for thinness" subscale, there might be a statement like "I am preoccupied with the desire to be thinner." The respondent would then rate this statement from 0 (never) to 6 (always).

The responses are then compiled and analyzed by healthcare professionals to assess the presence and severity of symptoms indicative of eating disorders. This comprehensive overview aids in diagnosing and formulating a suitable treatment plan for the patient.

Bear in mind that while the EDI is a valuable tool for assessing eating disorders, it should be used with other diagnostic assessments for a more accurate and holistic understanding of the patient's condition.

Download this Eating Disorders Inventory Example:

Eating Disorders Inventory Example (sample)

When would you use this template?

The Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI) is an invaluable resource for various practitioners, particularly those working in mental health, nutrition, and general healthcare. It serves as a crucial tool for the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning of eating disorders.

Here are a few instances when you might use this template:

During initial assessment 

When a healthcare professional suspects an individual may have an eating disorder based on initial symptoms or self-reporting, they can use the EDI to conduct a more comprehensive evaluation. The EDI helps identify specific attitudes and behaviors associated with eating disorders, which might not be immediately apparent during a standard medical examination. This may be accompanied with other psychological tests to support comprehensive understanding.

For diagnosis purposes 

The EDI is particularly useful when diagnosing eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. It provides a thorough understanding of the patient's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to food, body image, and weight, thus aiding in accurate diagnosis. This supports general integrative psychological constructs for a comprehensive understanding of the overall situation the individual may be facing.

During treatment panning 

Once the diagnostic criteria has been considered and a diagnosis has been made, the EDI can guide the development of a personalized treatment plan. The various subscales of the EDI can help pinpoint areas that need particular attention, such as body dissatisfaction or perfectionism.

Regular monitoring and progress tracking 

The EDI can be used regularly throughout treatment to monitor progress and adjust the treatment plan. It can help determine whether the patient's attitudes and behaviors regarding food and body image are changing and whether additional interventions are needed.

Research purposes 

Researchers studying eating disorders may use the EDI to gather data about the prevalence and nature of these disorders in various populations. This can aid in understanding the scope of the problem and developing effective prevention and treatment strategies.


Comprehensive evaluation

The Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI) offers a comprehensive evaluation of several psychological characteristics that are often linked to eating disorders. It delves into body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness, perfectionism, and interpersonal distrust. Assessing these varied factors ensures an in-depth understanding of an individual's condition, facilitating a more accurate diagnosis. It can also support understanding of any interpersonal problems.

Ease of access

One of the significant advantages of the EDI is its easy accessibility. As a free online resource, it can be quickly obtained and used by various individuals, including healthcare professionals in mental health or nutrition services, patients looking for self-assessment tools, and researchers studying the epidemiology and psychology of eating disorders.

Treatment guidance

The EDI doesn't just identify potential problems; it also helps to guide treatment. The insights drawn from the inventory can inform treatment planning by highlighting specific areas that require more focused intervention. This allows healthcare providers to personalize their therapeutic approach to align with the unique needs and challenges of the individual.

Progress tracking

The EDI isn't a one-time use tool. Healthcare providers can administer the inventory multiple times throughout treatment to monitor changes in attitudes, behaviors, and symptoms related to eating disorders. This ongoing assessment allows for timely adjustments in treatment strategies, ensuring that the therapeutic approach remains effective and responsive to the patient's evolving needs.

Cost efficiency

Lastly, the EDI is cost-effective for assessing and monitoring eating disorders. As a free resource, it eliminates financial barriers, making it accessible to a wider range of users. This includes healthcare professionals operating within budget constraints, patients who may not have the means for costly assessments, and researchers who must carefully manage their funding.

Why use Carepatron as your Eating Disorders Inventory app?

Choosing Carepatron as your Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI) app offers many benefits thanks to its unique features designed for eating disorder management. Here's why it stands out:

  1. Customizable EDI workflow: Carepatron allows you to customize the EDI workflow according to your needs. Whether you need to adjust the sequence of questions or add additional steps like follow-up consultations, Carepatron provides the flexibility to make the process as efficient and effective as possible.
  2. Tailored reporting: Carepatron allows you to generate customized reports based on the EDI results. This means you can focus on specific variables or aspects, such as the drive for thinness or body dissatisfaction, enabling a more detailed analysis of patient conditions.
  3. Progress tracking dashboard: With Carepatron, tracking a patient's progress over time becomes effortless. The software displays changes in EDI scores in a visual, easy-to-understand format, allowing you to quickly identify trends and make necessary treatment adjustments.
  4. Secure patient portal: Carepatron provides a secure portal where patients can complete their EDI assessments. This ensures data privacy and allows patients to complete the inventory at their own pace, potentially leading to more accurate responses.
  5. Integrated treatment planning: Carepatron goes beyond just assessment - it enables integrated treatment planning. You can outline personalized treatment plans directly within the app based on EDI results, ensuring a seamless transition from diagnosis to treatment.
  6. Collaborative care features: Carepatron promotes teamwork by allowing multiple providers to access and contribute to a patient's EDI data and treatment plan. This fosters a collaborative approach to care, often beneficial in managing eating disorders.
  7. Data-driven insights: Carepatron's advanced analytics capabilities allow you to extract actionable insights from your EDI data. This could include identifying common triggers, understanding the effectiveness of different treatment approaches, and providing valuable input for improving patient outcomes.
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Barstack, S., Karkhanis, S., Erford, B. T., Bennett, E., Buchanan, E., Sharpe, C., & Wissel, A. (2023). Synthesis of the Eating Disorder Inventory‐Third Edition (EDI‐3) psychometric characteristics: Implications for counseling practice and research. Journal of Counseling and Development.

Children's hospitals saw uptick in eating disorder cases amid pandemic. (2023, January 17). [Video]. NBC News.

Eating Disorder Inventory 3 | EDI-3. (n.d.).

Eating disorders. (n.d.-a). National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Eating disorders. (n.d.-b). National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Giachin, G. (2023). Eating Disorder Statistics | General & Diversity Stats | ANAD. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.

National Eating Disorders Association. (2021, July 14). Screening tool.

Williams, M. E. (2023, July 23). When a food sensitivity is an eating disorder in disguise. Salon.

Who uses the Eating Disorders Inventory?
Who uses the Eating Disorders Inventory?

Commonly asked questions

Who uses the Eating Disorders Inventory?

The Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI) is primarily used by healthcare professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and dietitians specializing in diagnosing and treating eating disorders. It is also used by researchers studying eating disorders.

When do you use the Eating Disorders Inventory?

The EDI is typically used during the assessment phase of eating disorder treatment. It helps clinicians understand the severity of a patient's condition, monitor changes over time, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment strategies. It may also be used in research studies to gather data about eating disorders in a specific population.

How is the Eating Disorders Inventory used?

The EDI is a self-report questionnaire that patients complete. It includes several subscales that assess different psychological traits associated with eating disorders, such as body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness, and perfectionism. Healthcare providers then score the responses and interpret the results to gain insight into the patient's condition.

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