Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-018-0685-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Several aetiological models of anorexia nervosa (AN) hold non-eating/weight-gain-related anxiety as a factor relevant to the onset and maintenance of the disorder. Longitudinal studies that allow assessment of this hypothesis have been conducted; however, the evidence has not yet been aggregated in a systematic manner. The proposed study will systematically review articles describing prospective investigations of the relationship between anxiety and AN development or maintenance, with the aim of providing a balanced summary of current understanding and identifying areas for further research.
Electronic databases will be searched for articles investigating the longitudinal influence of non-eating/weight-gain-related anxiety (anxiety disorders and trait anxiety) on the development/maintenance of AN. References of eligible articles will be searched to ensure the identification of all relevant studies. Two independent reviewers will complete the title and abstract, and full-text, screening, with a third independent reviewer resolving any conflicts at each stage. A systematic review will be completed, and the quality of the included studies, as well as the strength of the body of evidence generated, will be assessed and reported.
Although there are limitations to the present review, understanding the current evidence for the role of non-eating/weight-gain-related anxiety in AN can direct future research that may ensure accurate aetiological models of AN and effective treatments.
Systematic review registration
The study is registered on PROSPERO under the reference number CRD42017069644