Purpose It has been widely shown that dissociative features might play a fundamental role in producing body image distortions in patients affected by eating disorders. Here, we hypothesize that the Mirror Gazing Test (MGT), a task consisting in mirror exposure in a condition of sensory deprivation, would elicit dissociative symptoms in a group of patients with anorexia nervosa (AN). Methods Fourteen patients with AN and fourteen healthy controls (HC) underwent a 10 min MGT and completed the Strange Face Questionnaire and a short version of the Clinician-Administered Dissociative States Scale, along with a psychological assessment for eating disorders psychopathology, anxiety and depression. Results AN patients reported a higher number of strange-face apparitions and dissociative sensations than HC during the MGT. Dissociative identity (compartmentalization of two or more identities) and depersonalization (detachment of bodily-self) were much higher in patients with AN than in HC. These findings were correlated with body dissatisfaction and disruption in interoceptive awareness. Conclusion Dissociation and body image dysfunction are strongly connected in the pathophysiology of anorexia nervosa. Future research should investigate the same aspects in other psychiatric conditions characterized by body image distortions, such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Level of evidence I, Experimental studies.

Visual perception and dissociation during Mirror Gazing Test in patients with anorexia nervosa: a preliminary study

Caputo, Giovanni B
2021-01-01

Abstract

Purpose It has been widely shown that dissociative features might play a fundamental role in producing body image distortions in patients affected by eating disorders. Here, we hypothesize that the Mirror Gazing Test (MGT), a task consisting in mirror exposure in a condition of sensory deprivation, would elicit dissociative symptoms in a group of patients with anorexia nervosa (AN). Methods Fourteen patients with AN and fourteen healthy controls (HC) underwent a 10 min MGT and completed the Strange Face Questionnaire and a short version of the Clinician-Administered Dissociative States Scale, along with a psychological assessment for eating disorders psychopathology, anxiety and depression. Results AN patients reported a higher number of strange-face apparitions and dissociative sensations than HC during the MGT. Dissociative identity (compartmentalization of two or more identities) and depersonalization (detachment of bodily-self) were much higher in patients with AN than in HC. These findings were correlated with body dissatisfaction and disruption in interoceptive awareness. Conclusion Dissociation and body image dysfunction are strongly connected in the pathophysiology of anorexia nervosa. Future research should investigate the same aspects in other psychiatric conditions characterized by body image distortions, such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Level of evidence I, Experimental studies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2678556
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