What is an Eating Disorder Examination Interview?


The Eating Disorder Examination Interview (EDE) devised by Cooper & Fairburn (1987) is a semi-structured interview conducted by a clinician in the assessment of an eating disorder.


The EDE is a semi-structured interview conducted by a trained clinician to assess the psychopathology associated with the diagnosis of an eating disorder. The EDE is rated through the use of four subscales and a global score. The four subscales are:

  1. Restraint.
  2. Eating concern.
  3. Shape concern.
  4. Weight concern.

The questions concern the frequency in which the patient engages in behaviours indicative of an eating disorder over a 28-day period. The test is secured on a 7-point scale from 0-6. With a zero score indicating not having engaged in the questioned behaviour.


The Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) was adapted from the EDE. The EDE-Q is a 41 item self-report questionnaire. It retains the format of the EDE including the 4 subscales and global score. It also concerns behaviours over a 28-day time period and retains the scoring system of 0-6, with:

  • 0 indicating no days;
  • 1 = 1-5 days;
  • 2 = 6-12 days;
  • 3 = 13-15 days;
  • 4 = 16-22 days;
  • 5 = 23-27 days; and
  • 6 = every day.


Cooper, Z. & Fairburn, CG (1987). The Eating Disorder Examination: A Semistructured Interview for the Assessment of the Specific Psychopathology of Eating Disorders”. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 6, pp.1-8. doi:10.1002/1098-108x(198701)6:1<1::aid-eat2260060102>3.0.co;2-9.

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