Effectiveness and Feasibility of a Cognitive-Behavioral Group Intervention for Body Image Disturbance in Women With Eating Disorders


Please address correspondence to: Kelly Bhatnagar, The Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders, 25550 Chagrin Boulevard, Suite 200, Beachwood, Ohio 44224. E-mail: Kelly.bhatnagar@gmail.com



The present study investigated the effectiveness and feasibility of a cognitive-behavioral group intervention for the treatment of body image disturbance in women with eating disorders.


The study used a multiple-baseline design and enrolled 38 participants with a range of eating disorders. The intervention targeted attitudinal and behavioral components of body image disturbance using psychoeducation, self-monitoring, systematic desensitization, and cognitive restructuring. Primary outcomes included multidimensional body image assessment (effectiveness) and treatment adherence and satisfaction (feasibility).


Participants undergoing manualized group treatment reported significantly less body image disturbance than participants randomized to a waitlist control condition. However, differences disappeared after both groups had been through intervention. Participants also reported less depression and eating disorder pathology from baseline to posttreatment, however this difference was not considered statistically significant. Feasibility outcomes suggest the intervention was well received and highly acceptable to participants.


Findings emphasize the importance of adding an evidence-based body image component to standard eating disorder treatment. ©2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Clin. Psychol. 00:1-13, 2012.