Comparison of self-guided and clinician-led body image intervention for overweight and obese women

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Kim Willcox
This research aims to investigate the effectiveness of body image cognitive-behavioural therapy (BI-CBT) in treating negative body image among overweight and obese women. Negative body image is associated with adverse psychological outcomes including depression, social anxiety, low self-esteem, impaired sexual functioning and disordered eating. Empirical support exists for the effectiveness of body image cognitive-behavioural interventions delivered in both self-guided and clinician-led formats. Overweight and obese people are at higher risk of negative body image than healthy weight individuals, however few studies have examined BI interventions with overweight and obese populations. The aims of the current research project are to (1) complete a systematic literature review evaluating the use of BI-CBT to treat negative body image related to weight and shape, and (2) evaluate the efficacy, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of a CBT-based intervention for negative body image in overweight and obese women. The study will add to limited existing research examining BI interventions for the overweight and obese by using measures based on a contemporary, multi-dimensional conceptualisation of body image. It will also compare the effectiveness of therapist-led versus self-guided BI CBT interventions for overweight and obese participants. The study's results will promote further understanding of the effectiveness of BI-CBT as a treatment for negative body image among obese and overweight people, which is important in addressing the prevalence of adverse outcomes of negative body image, such as depression, social anxiety, low self-esteem, impaired sexual function and disordered eating.

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Supervisors supervising this project

Associate Professor Leah Brennan Principal Supervisor

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