Targeting body image in eating disorders

Cornelissen, Piers and Tovée, Martin J. (2021) Targeting body image in eating disorders. Current Opinion in Psychology, 41. pp. 71-77. ISSN 2352-250X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2021.03.013

Abstract

Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, are challenging to treat successfully and have a very high relapse rate. Body image disturbance (BID) is a core component of these eating disorders. It is a predictor of onset, treatment outcome and future relapse. However, recent studies suggest that BID can be improved by an adaptation of cognitive bias training. This does not target the accuracy of body size judgements, but instead focuses on how a body of a particular size is categorized by a patient. This recalibration of the categorical boundary at which bodies are judged as overweight, which challenges a patient's existing preconceptions about which constitutes an acceptable body size, seems to lead to a more general reassessment of eating disordered attitudes and a significant improvement in their psychological profile. These promising findings need further trials to determine the long-term effectiveness of such a targeted intervention, but it potentially provides an important additional treatment option. In addition, this cognitive bias training may also be an effective augmentation to treatment in other conditions that feature BID, such as bulimia nervosa and body dysmorphia.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Body Image Disturbance, Cognitive Bias Training, Anorexia Nervosa, Body Image Change
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2021 14:06
Last Modified: 25 May 2021 14:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45890

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