Attention Training and Its Effects on Body Image Disturbance

2014-08-27 03:14:12 | BioPortfolio


Research has consistently found attentional biases towards negative weight-related stimuli in individuals with eating disorders. It has been suggested that these biases may act as a vulnerability factor for the development and maintenance of body dissatisfaction and may therefore be an important target for intervention. Previous studies have demonstrated the capacity to modify the patterns of attention allocation to threatening stimuli in a variety of anxiety disorders, with a subsequent and sustained reduction in anxiety symptoms. Thus, the present study aimed at testing the efficacy of attention training in reducing attentional biases and eating disorder symptoms in individuals with elevated levels of body image disturbance and eating disorder symptomatology of clinical severity. Thirty-two participants were randomly allocated to receive eight sessions of a 10-minute computer task aimed at training their attention away from weight-related stimuli or a control placebo training condition. Results showed that participants in the attention training group had a significantly greater reduction in their attentional bias and body dissatisfaction from pre- to post-training relative to the placebo condition. At follow-up, both groups showed a significant decrease in body dissatisfaction from their pre-training levels. The only significant difference between groups in eating disorder symptoms at follow-up was in terms of the attention training group experiencing a greater reduction in weight and shape concerns.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Body Dissatisfaction


attention training, placebo training


The University of Sydney
New South Wales




University of Sydney

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:14:12-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Financial support for training including both student stipends and loans and training grants to institutions.

On the job training programs for personnel carried out within an institution or agency. It includes orientation programs.

Education centers authorized by the Comprehensive Health Manpower Training Act, 1971, for the training of health personnel in areas where health needs are the greatest. May be used for centers other than those established by the United States act.

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The training or bringing-up of children by parents or parent-substitutes. It is used also for child rearing practices in different societies, at different economic levels, in different ethnic groups, etc. It differs from PARENTING in that in child rearing the emphasis is on the act of training or bringing up the child and the interaction between the parent and child, while parenting emphasizes the responsibility and qualities of exemplary behavior of the parent.

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