Direct comparisons of anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder: A systematic review.Psychiatry Res. 2019 04; 274:129-137.PR
Anorexia nervosa (AN) and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) are serious psychiatric conditions, both of which are associated with a disturbance of body image. The aim of this paper was to review those studies that have directly compared groups of individuals with AN and BDD, to determine similarities and differences in presentation between the two conditions. The literature was searched to September 2018, and studies were included if they were English language, empirical research papers published in peer-reviewed journals, specifically comparing AN and BDD patients. Fifteen relevant studies were identified. The results suggested that individuals with AN and BDD share a number of similarities, including their degree of body dissatisfaction. Differences between the conditions included primary concerns with body shape and weight in AN, and much more diffuse concerns (but predominantly the face) in BDD. The small number of studies, along with the limited replication of results emphasises the need for greater research in this area. However, the studies undertaken to date highlight the high degree of overlap between AN and BDD and suggests that the conditions may represent similar body image disorders. This has implications for the nosological status of AN and BDD.