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Perceptual body image disturbances, or the misalignment between the ways in which people perceive their body and objective reality, are a pervasive problem in anorexia nervosa. People with anorexia nervosa will often perceive their body to be significantly larger than it actually is. Despite the prevalence of this body size disturbance in individuals with anorexia nervosa, little effort has been made to specifically reduce the body size overestimation that occurs in this illness. Therefore, the premise of this proposed study is to address this research gap through the introduction of a novel intervention that employs verbal, visual, and physical body size feedback to reduce body size overestimation in individuals with anorexia nervosa. The experimental design of this study will include three conditions (anorexia nervosa intervention participants, anorexia nervosa control intervention participants, and healthy control participants), and body size estimation at three time points (zero weeks, eight weeks, and one year) to determine the efficacy of the intervention. In addition, this study will investigate the strength of the relationship between body size overestimation and lack of motivation to recover in individuals with anorexia nervosa. Considering the high rate of relapse and mortality in anorexia nervosa, body size overestimation may be a factor inhibiting long-term recovery, and thus imperative to reduce to improve illness outcomes.
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DePietro, Bianca, "Do You See What I See? Investigating the Efficacy of a Novel Body-scaled Action Intervention in Reducing Body Size Overestimation in Anorexia Nervosa" (2019). Senior Projects Spring 2019. 201.