Psychosocial functioning and quality of life in body dysmorphic disorder

Katharine A Phillips, William Menard, Christina Fay, Maria E Pagano
Comprehensive Psychiatry 2005, 46 (4): 254-60
Psychosocial functioning and quality of life in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) have received only limited investigation. We examined these domains in 176 subjects with current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), BDD using reliable measures, several of which have not been used previously in BDD studies. Scores were compared to published norms. On the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey, mental health-related quality of life scores for BDD subjects were approximately 1.8 SD units poorer than US population norms and 0.4 SD units poorer than norms for depression. On the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire Short Form, BDD subjects had a mean converted score of 49.9% +/- 16.4%, which was 2.1 SD units poorer than the normative community sample score of 78.1% +/- 13.7%. On the Social Adjustment Scale-Self-Report, BDD subjects had a mean Overall Adjustment total score of 2.37 +/- 0.52, which was 2.4 SD units poorer than the published norm of 1.59 +/- 0.33. Scores on the Range of Impaired Functioning Tool reflected functional impairment in all domains. More severe BDD symptoms were significantly associated with poorer functioning and quality of life on all measures. On all but one measure, functioning and quality of life for subjects who were not currently receiving mental health treatment did not significantly differ from those who were receiving treatment. These findings indicate that individuals with BDD, regardless of treatment status, have markedly poor functioning and quality of life. In addition, they suggest that treatment should aim at improving functioning and quality of life in addition to relieving symptoms.

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