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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


GEMPELER RUEDA, Juanita. Body Functionality as a Therapeutic Goal for Cognitive Behavioral Work on Body Image Distortion in Eating Disorders. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2007, vol.36, n.3, pp.451-459. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: Body functionality is proposed as a therapeutic goal to treat distorted body image in eating disorders, with an emphasis on its clinical and adaptive implications. Method: Using a systematic review of the available literature and clinical experience, a new therapeutic goal is proposed for body image problems in eating disorders: the functional use of the body. Results: Body functionality is defi ned as “Using the body in a manner that is compatible with the various situations an individual may face, responding as most people would do in the same situation, with a coherent pattern of cognitive, autonomous, and motor responses”. Coherence between the three areas of response is proposed as an indicator of therapeutic success. Conclusions: Based on the available evidence, the effectiveness of interventions for altered body image in eating disorders is inconsistent. Possible reasons for this are discussed and it is proposed that the objective be changed from correction of the dissatisfaction or distortion of the body image to functionality in the way the body is used. This proposal should be tested using empirical studies.

Keywords : Eating disorders; body weight changes; body image.

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