The compulsive exercise test: confirmatory factor analysis and links with eating psychopathology among women with clinical eating disorders

Background: This study aimed to determine the psychometric properties of the Compulsive Exercise Test (CET) among an adult sample of patients with eating disorders. Method: Three hundred and fifty six patients and 360 non-clinical control women completed the CET and the Eating Disorders Examination questionnaire (EDE-Q). Results: A confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the clinical data showed a moderate fit to the previously published five factor model derived from a community sample (Taranis L, Touyz S, Meyer C, Eur Eat Disord Rev 19: 256-268, 2011). The clinical group scored significantly higher than the non-clinical group on four of the five CET subscales, and logistic regression analysis revealed that the CET could successfully discriminate between the two groups. A Receiver Operating Curve analysis revealed that a cut-off score of 15 on the CET resulted in acceptable values of both sensitivity and specificity. Conclusions: The CET appears to have a factor structure that is acceptable for use with an adult sample of patients with eating disorders. It can identify compulsive exercise among patients with eating disorders and a cut-off score of 15 is acceptable as indicating an appropriate cut-off point.