JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Modular cognitive-behavioral therapy for body dysmorphic disorder: a randomized controlled trial

Sabine Wilhelm, Katharine A Phillips, Elizabeth Didie, Ulrike Buhlmann, Jennifer L Greenberg, Jeanne M Fama, Aparna Keshaviah, Gail Steketee
Behavior Therapy 2014, 45 (3): 314-27
24680228
There are few effective treatments for body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and a pressing need to develop such treatments. We examined the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a manualized modular cognitive-behavioral therapy for BDD (CBT-BDD). CBT-BDD utilizes core elements relevant to all BDD patients (e.g., exposure, response prevention, perceptual retraining) and optional modules to address specific symptoms (e.g., surgery seeking). Thirty-six adults with BDD were randomized to 22 sessions of immediate individual CBT-BDD over 24 weeks (n=17) or to a 12-week waitlist (n=19). The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale Modified for BDD (BDD-YBOCS), Brown Assessment of Beliefs Scale, and Beck Depression Inventory-II were completed pretreatment, monthly, posttreatment, and at 3- and 6-month follow-up. The Sheehan Disability Scale and Client Satisfaction Inventory (CSI) were also administered. Response to treatment was defined as ≥30% reduction in BDD-YBOCS total from baseline. By week 12, 50% of participants receiving immediate CBT-BDD achieved response versus 12% of waitlisted participants (p=0.026). By posttreatment, 81% of all participants (immediate CBT-BDD plus waitlisted patients subsequently treated with CBT-BDD) met responder criteria. While no significant group differences in BDD symptom reduction emerged by Week 12, by posttreatment CBT-BDD resulted in significant decreases in BDD-YBOCS total over time (d=2.1, p<0.0001), with gains maintained during follow-up. Depression, insight, and disability also significantly improved. Patient satisfaction was high, with a mean CSI score of 87.3% (SD=12.8%) at posttreatment. CBT-BDD appears to be a feasible, acceptable, and efficacious treatment that warrants more rigorous investigation.

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