Validation of the Intuitive Exercise Scale in Patients With Eating Disorders

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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  • 1 West Virginia University
  • | 2 The University of Utah
  • | 3 Utah State University
  • | 4 University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • | 5 McCallum Place
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Unhealthy cognitive–emotional relationships with exercise can hinder positive treatment outcomes when left unaddressed. However, clinicians lack validated tools to monitor this aspect of treatment. This study examined the 14-item Intuitive Exercise Scale with 165 patients in the United States (M age = 26.48 years) who were receiving treatment for an eating disorder. The original factor structure was inadequate for the current sample, and exploratory factor analysis generated three factors—emotional exercise, body intuition, and exercise variety. The three-factor solution yielded strong internal consistency and partial support for the scale’s validity. Furthermore, patients scored lowest in body intuition, confirming low awareness of bodily cues common in patients with eating disorders. This study informs how clinicians may integrate and monitor patients’ cognitive–emotional relationship with exercise as part of holistic and intuitive eating disorder treatment approaches.

Voelker is with the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA. Galli is with The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. Miyairi is with Utah State University, Brigham City, UT, USA. Reel is with the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, USA. James is with McCallum Place, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Voelker (dkvoelker@mail.wvu.edu) is corresponding author.
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