Body deformity disorder (BDD) is one of the disorders of the obsessive-compulsive spectrum and includes intense and disturbing mental occupation with minor or visual defects in appearance. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of schema therapy on flexibility and perfectionism of physical appearance in body dysmorphic disorder.
In a quasi-experimental study of pre-test-post-test-follow-up design with a control group, 30 female students with BDD studying at the Islamic Azad University of Tehran University of Medical Sciences from November to January 2017 were selected via convenience sampling method. Participants were randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups. The experimental group (n=15) underwent schematic therapy for eight weekly 90-minute sessions. The flexibility questionnaire and the Physical Appearance Perfectionism Scale (PAPS) were collected in three baseline stages after quarterly intervention and follow-up. Data were entered in SPSS statistical software version 21 and analyzed using repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance.
In the experimental group, the mean (SD) of cognitive flexibility increased from 26.3 (7.4) in the pre-test to 43.5 (10.2) in the post-test (P<0.001) and 45.8 (11.7) in the follow-up phase, (P<0.001). Also, in the experimental group, the mean (SD) perfectionism score decreased from 74.5 (5.4) in the pre-test to 34.3 (6.1) in the post-test (P<0.001) and 49.5 (5.5) in the follow-up phase, (P<0.001). In the control group, the scores of both variables in the pre-test, post-test and follow-up were not different.
The study showed that schema therapy improved flexibility and decreased physicalappearance perfectionism in students with body dysmorphic disorder.
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