Browse/search for people

Publication - Professor Marcus Munafo

    An interactive training programme to treat body image disturbance


    Gledhill, L, cornelissen, k, Cornelissen, P, Penton-Voak, IS, Munafo, M & Tovée, MJ, 2017, ‘An interactive training programme to treat body image disturbance’. British Journal of Health Psychology, vol 22., pp. 60?76


    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.

    Full details in the University publications repository