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Therapist-Guided, Internet-Based CBT Superior for BDD

Superior to online supportive therapy for symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder

psychiatrist and patient

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Therapist-guided, Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for body dysmorphic disorder (BDD-NET) is superior to online supportive therapy, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in The BMJ.

Jesper Enander, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a 12-week trial involving 94 self-referred adult outpatients with a diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder. Participants received 12 weeks of BDD-NET or supportive therapy delivered via the Internet.

The researchers observed significant improvements in BDD symptom severity (modified Yale-Brown obsessive compulsive scale group difference, −7.1 points), depression (Montgomery-Åsberg depression rating scale self-report group difference, −4.5 points), and other secondary measures for BDD-NET versus supportive therapy. At follow-up, the proportion of participants classified as responders was 56 percent in the BDD-NET group, compared with 13 percent in the supportive therapy group. High self-reported satisfaction was observed and the number needed to treat was 2.34.

"BDD-NET has the potential to increase access to evidence based psychiatric care for this mental disorder, in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence priority recommendations," the authors write. "It could be particularly useful in a stepped care approach, in which general practitioner or other mental health professionals can offer treatment to people with mild to moderate symptoms at low risk of suicide."

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