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OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to evaluate a new brief cognitive-behavioural intervention to reduce concerns about body shape. DESIGN: Women with high levels of shape concern (N=50) were randomly assigned to cognitive behaviour therapy or applied relaxation (AR). Baseline assessments were made and then women received their treatment immediately after this assessment, ('immediate' treatment) or 5 weeks after this assessment, during which time no treatment was given ('delayed' treatment, DT). METHODS: Shape concern and related cognitions and emotions were assessed at baseline, post-treatment and at 4 and 12 week follow-up (FU). RESULTS: Immediate treatment was superior to DT in reducing shape concerns, and this difference was maintained at 4 week FU. The cognitive behavioural intervention was more effective than AR in changing shape concern and this difference was largely maintained for 3 months. CONCLUSIONS: These initial findings support the further investigation of this brief intervention.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Clin Psychol

Publication Date





79 - 92


Adaptation, Psychological, Adolescent, Adult, Analysis of Variance, Body Image, Cognition, Cognitive Therapy, Depressive Disorder, Emotions, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Mental Disorders, Middle Aged, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Relaxation, Severity of Illness Index, Time, United Kingdom, Young Adult