Cognitive training apps can reduce physical dissatisfaction for some women

Recently published research in body image notes that using a mobile application designed to provide cognitive training to reduce physical dissatisfaction and eating disorder symptoms successfully reduced those symptoms in 34% of participants. This underscores the potential use of apps as a potential therapeutic intervention for people with body image disorders, eating disorders, and body dysmorphic disorders.

Physical dissatisfaction is widespread. It is more common in young adulthood, and young women may be more susceptible to it because of specific risk factors that characterize this developmental stage. Physical dissatisfaction is also a risk factor for body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders, and is associated with additional psychological symptoms such as low self-esteem, maladaptive perfectionism, social anxiety symptoms, negative affect, and symptoms of depression.

Therefore, interventions targeting body dissatisfaction are urgently needed to reduce the development of body image disorders and associated psychological phenomena, especially in at-risk individuals such as young women.

Silvia Cerea and colleagues examined the effectiveness of a mobile health app in reducing symptoms of eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, and related traits in women at high risk of developing body image disorders. 95 women were randomly assigned to an immediate (iApp) and delayed (dApp) application group.

The iApp group started using the app for 16 days initially, while the dApp group started using the app after 16 days. Participants completed questionnaires prior to app use and again 16 and 32 days later.

The app ( – Anxiety Mood & Sleep) aims to help young people improve their body image by challenging negative thoughts and perceptions. Users swipe down to accept positive statements about their body and up to reject negative statements. The app provides feedback to draw attention to unhealthy thoughts and encourage healthy ones.

The study found that 16 days after baseline, the iApp group showed a decrease in dysmorphic symptoms and physical dissatisfaction associated with eating disorders. The study suggests that mobile health apps could reduce dysmorphic symptoms and physical dissatisfaction associated with eating disorders in women at high risk of body image disorders.

The study contained some recognized limitations, including a small sample size and limited follow-up time. The impact on eating disorder symptoms and associated traits was also more limited. The study is preliminary, and more research is needed to confirm the results and examine the long-term effects of mobile health apps in reducing symptoms of body dissatisfaction and body image disorders.

Mobile health apps have significant benefits such as: B. constant availability, large reach, low costs, anonymity and attractiveness for young people. The work of Cera and colleagues suggests that mobile health apps could be effective in reducing body dissatisfaction and symptoms of body image disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders. The study underscores the need for interventions targeting physical dissatisfaction, particularly among high-risk individuals such as young women.

The study “Cognitive Training via a Mobile Application to Reduce Some Forms of Body Dissatisfaction in Young Women at High Risk for Body Image Disorders: A Randomized Controlled Trial” was conducted by Silvia Cerea, Guy Doron, Teresa Manoli, Federica Patania, Gioia Bottesi, and Marta Ghisi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *