Body Dysmorphic Disorder and psychological features in an Italian community sample in need of medical aesthetic treatments

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Sabrina Mattiello
Domenico Centofanti
Donatella Ballardini
Valentina Fasoli
Silvia Cerea
Ilaria Simonelli
Emanuele Bartoletti


assessment, body dysmorphic disorder, psychological features, psychopathological features, body dysmorphic disorder questionnaire


Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by the concern for one or more perceived defects in physical appearance not identifiable by others. The prevalence of BDD across the adult population is estimated to be 1-2%, increasing to 5-15% in patients who require medical-aesthetic procedures. The scientific community is still discussing the status of BDD that could be contraindicated for cosmetic surgery. The aim of the study was to perform an assessment of BDD using validated questionnaires. A group of 205 patients has been evaluated with a test, including one general information form and two questionnaires: Questionario sul Dismorfismo Corporeo (QDC), in order to assess BDD phenomenology and related clinical features; Body Dysmorphic Disorder Questionnaire (BDDQ), regarding concerns about body appearance. The group was composed of women (97%), married (43.4%), with a high level of education (31.7% university degree) and a full-time job (76.1%). In the sample group, 12.2% showed a test outcome with QDC>130 and, consequently, BDD symptoms. Significant correlations have been found between QDC and psychological disorders and between QDC and concerns for physical appearance assessed by BDDQ. The QDC represents a reliable questionnaire for the early recognition of BDD. This study has showed that patients with BDD required more often medical-aesthetic procedures than the rest of the patients tested. The BDD was often associated with further psychological disorders and these patients have shown extreme concern for their physical appearance, that impacts their social interactions.

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