Professor Martin Tovée from the School of Psychology will lead the next LIH Research Development Seminar entitled, An Interactive Training Program to treat Body Image Disturbance in Anorexia Nervosa

1Basic-info-poster-small-565x800Wednesday 3rd May 2017, from 12.00noon to 2.00pm* in David Chiddick Building room DCB2100.

Body image disturbance is a principal diagnostic criterion for anorexia nervosa (AN), and is a key element of psychological models of this disorder. Put simply, most women with AN over-estimate body size, have negative feelings towards their body and classify lower weight bodies as fat relative to controls. This over-estimation and disparagement of body size, coupled with a morbid dread of becoming overweight, fuels a drive for thinness through abnormal eating patterns and associated behaviours. Its persistence is a predictor of the long term outcome in treatment and its continuation post-treatment is a key predictor of relapse which runs at 30% after 12 months post-treatment.

To treat this feature of AN and reduce relapse rates, we have developed a novel training program to recalibrate our participants’ concept of what constitutes a normal body size away from an unhealthy thin ideal back towards the healthy body size preferences seen in control participants. Participants receive training on 4 consecutive days. On each day, participants categorise a series of bodies which vary in BMI and receive feedback on their judgement. In a pilot study, the program successfully recalibrated the body size preferences of women with AN and reduced their body size and eating disordered concerns (see attached). Overall therefore, the results of the pilot study are consistent with our predictions, but its effectiveness in reducing patient relapse rates needs to be tested.

This training program has the potential to be a valuable cost-effective adjunctive treatment for AN, which may be used together with more traditional talking therapies (e.g. CBT, mindfulness).

The LIH extends a warm welcome to all interested in this exciting area.

*12.00noon to 1.00pm – Presentation with Q&A, 1.00pm to 2.00pm – optional discussion and action planning

There is no need to book.

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