An interactive training program to treat body image disturbance

Gledhill, L. J. and Cornelissen, K. K. and Cornelissen, P. L. and Penton-Voak, I. P. and Munafo, M. R. and Tovée, Martin J. (2017) An interactive training program to treat body image disturbance. British Journal of Health Psychology, 22 (1). pp. 60-76. ISSN 1359-107X

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12217

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Abstract

Objectives: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a life-threatening mental health condition. A core feature is a disturbance of body image, such that sufferers see themselves as fatter than they actually are. Design: We tested the effectiveness of a novel training program to recalibrate our participants’ perception of body size. Methods: In a novel adaptation of a cognitive bias training program, participants judged the body size of a series of female bodies and were given feedback to improve their accuracy over 4 daily training sessions. In Study 1, we recruited young women with high concerns about their body size for a randomised controlled study. In Study 2, we then applied the training program to a case series of women with atypical AN. Results: In Study 1, the training program significantly improved the body size judgements of women with high body concerns compared to controls. We also found evidence of improved body image and reduced eating concerns in this group. In Study 2, the program again recalibrated the body size judgements of women with atypical AN. We also saw evidence of a clinically meaningful reduction in their body size and eating disordered concerns. Conclusions: This training has the potential to be a valuable treatment used together with more traditional talking therapies.

Keywords:Body Size judgements, Anorexia Nervosa Syndrome Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa., Body size training
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:24640
Deposited On:12 Oct 2016 13:50

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