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A proof-of-concept study applying machine learning methods to putative risk factors for eating disorders: Results from the multi-centre European project on healthy eating

journal contribution
posted on 01.11.2021, 00:00 authored by I Krug, Jake LinardonJake Linardon, Christopher GreenwoodChristopher Greenwood, George Youssef, J Treasure, F Fernandez-Aranda, A Karwautz, G Wagner, D Collier, M Anderluh, K Tchanturia, V Ricca, S Sorbi, B Nacmias, L Bellodi, Matthew Fuller-TyszkiewiczMatthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz
Abstract
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t Background
t Despite a wide range of proposed risk factors and theoretical models, prediction of eating disorder (ED) onset remains poor. This study undertook the first comparison of two machine learning (ML) approaches [penalised logistic regression (LASSO), and prediction rule ensembles (PREs)] to conventional logistic regression (LR) models to enhance prediction of ED onset and differential ED diagnoses from a range of putative risk factors.
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t Method
t Data were part of a European Project and comprised 1402 participants, 642 ED patients [52% with anorexia nervosa (AN) and 40% with bulimia nervosa (BN)] and 760 controls. The Cross-Cultural Risk Factor Questionnaire, which assesses retrospectively a range of sociocultural and psychological ED risk factors occurring before the age of 12 years (46 predictors in total), was used.
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t Results
t All three statistical approaches had satisfactory model accuracy, with an average area under the curve (AUC) of 86% for predicting ED onset and 70% for predicting AN v. BN. Predictive performance was greatest for the two regression methods (LR and LASSO), although the PRE technique relied on fewer predictors with comparable accuracy. The individual risk factors differed depending on the outcome classification (EDs v. non-EDs and AN v. BN).
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t Conclusions
t Even though the conventional LR performed comparably to the ML approaches in terms of predictive accuracy, the ML methods produced more parsimonious predictive models. ML approaches offer a viable way to modify screening practices for ED risk that balance accuracy against participant burden.
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History

Journal

Psychological Medicine

Pagination

1 - 10

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Location

Cambridge, Eng.

ISSN

0033-2917

eISSN

1469-8978

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal