Psychological treatment of social anxiety disorder improves body dysmorphic concerns

Angela Fang, Alice T. Sawyer, Idan M. Aderka, Stefan G. Hofmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social anxiety disorder and body dysmorphic disorder are considered nosologically distinct disorders. In contrast, some cognitive models suggest that social anxiety disorder and body dysmorphic disorder share similar cognitive maintenance factors. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of psychological treatments for social anxiety disorder on body dysmorphic disorder concerns. In Study 1, we found that 12 weekly group sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy led to significant decreases in body dysmorphic symptom severity. In Study 2, we found that an attention retraining intervention for social anxiety disorder was associated with a reduction in body dysmorphic concerns, compared to a placebo control condition. These findings support the notion that psychological treatments for individuals with primary social anxiety disorder improve co-occurring body dysmorphic disorder symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-691
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Attention bias
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Cognitive bias modification
  • Social anxiety disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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