Brief cognitive behavioural therapy for extreme shape concern: An evaluation

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Objectives.This study was designed to evaluate a new brief cognitive-behavioural intervention to reduce concerns about body shape.Design.Women with high levels of shape concern (N = 50) were randomly assigned to cognitive behaviour therapy or applied relaxation (AR). Baseline assessments were made and then women received their treatment immediately after this assessment, (‘immediate’ treatment) or 5 weeks after this assessment, during which time no treatment was given (‘delayed’ treatment, DT).Methods.Shape concern and related cognitions and emotions were assessed at baseline, post-treatment and at 4 and 12 week follow-up (FU).Results.Immediate treatment was superior to DT in reducing shape concerns, and this difference was maintained at 4 week FU. The cognitive behavioural intervention was more effective than AR in changing shape concern and this difference was largely maintained for 3 months.Conclusions.These initial findings support the further investigation of this brief intervention.

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