Review of Attentional Bias Modification: A Brain-directed Treatment for Eating Disorders
Article first published online: 3 SEP 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
European Eating Disorders Review
Special Issue: BRAIN-DIRECTED TREATMENTS IN EATING DISORDERS
Volume 21, Issue 6, pages 464–474, November 2013
How to Cite
Renwick, B., Campbell, I. C. and Schmidt, U. (2013), Review of Attentional Bias Modification: A Brain-directed Treatment for Eating Disorders. Eur. Eat. Disorders Rev., 21: 464–474. doi: 10.1002/erv.2248
- Issue published online: 24 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 3 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 12 JUN 2013
- National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grant for Applied Research. Grant Number: RP-PG-0606-1043
- eating disorder;
- anorexia nervosa;
- bulimia nervosa;
- attentional bias;
Psychological treatments for eating disorders (ED) rely on mastery of effortful attentional control to divert attention from anxiety provoking thoughts. This paper assesses the potential suitability of attentional bias modification treatment (ABMT) for EDs as a way to target early automatic attentional processes and implicitly retune threat perception that happens outside of conscious control.
We review data on anxiety in EDs, the neurobiological and behavioural relationship between anxiety disorders and EDs, attentional biases (AB) in EDs and the use of ABMT.
Co-morbidities between EDs and anxiety disorders are common and negatively affect illness outcome. EDs and anxiety disorders share many underlying elements, including AB towards threatening and disorder-relevant stimuli. AB has been modified across a range of anxiety disorders using ABMT. It is possible to modify AB in EDs.
There is evidence to suggest that ABMT has potential as a targeted, rapid and convenient treatment option for EDs. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.