Function Impairments in Patients with Bulimia Nervosa: a Systematic Review

Zahra Moghanizadeh, Farhad Kahrazehi, Ali Mashhadi



According to previous studies, a number of executive functions are impaired in people with bulimia nervosa. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to identify the most function impairments involved in patients with bulimia nervosa.


Materials and Methods:

The present study is a descriptive survey, and according to the method of implementation, is a systematic review study. A literature search was conducted by using the following electronic databases including scientific information databases (SID), CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science, google scholar, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Medlib, Magiran, and Medline from 1991 through 2017. With executive actions involved in patients with bulimia nervosa, a search was done using the keywords of executive actions, working memory, attention, inhibition, reasoning and planning, organizing, self-regulation, inhibition, retention and conversion, self-regulation, cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, speed processing, repositioning, decision-making, self-control, anorexia nervosa, and their combination with bulimia nervosa and similar terms (emotional eating). The content of all articles, after extraction from the databases, was evaluated by the PRISMA checklist, and the content analysis was used to examine data.


After the search and evaluation of the studies, the final analysis was carried out on 63 articles.
The findings of this study showed that the executive actions involved in bulimia nervosa fall into five categories: attention, decision-making, inhibition, working memory, and set-shifting.


Based on the results, drawing on the areas identified in the field of executive functions involved in patients with bulimia nervosa can be used as a conceptual map for more coherent studies and the design of extensive interventions.


Bulimia nervosa, Function impairments, Systematic review

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