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Keywords:

  • body image disturbance;
  • eating disorders;
  • cognitive-behavioral therapy

Objective

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.

Method

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).

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.