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Int J Eat Disord. 2007 May;40(4):369-80.

Attentional bias in eating disorders.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Oxford University, Oxford, England, UK. roz.shafran@psych.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the relationship between eating disorders and attentional biases.

METHOD:

The first study comprised 23 female patients with clinical eating disorders, women with high levels of anxiety (n = 19), and three female normal control groups comprising low (n = 31), moderate (n = 21), or high levels of shape concern (n = 23). The second study comprised 82 women with clinical eating disorders and 44 healthy controls. All participants completed measures of eating disorder psychopathology and completed a modified pictorial dot-probe task.

RESULTS:

In the first study, biases were found for negative eating and neutral weight pictures, and for positive eating pictures in women with eating disorders; these biases were greater than those found in anxious and normal controls. The second study replicated these findings and biases were also found for negative and neutral shape stimuli.

CONCLUSION:

It is concluded that future research should establish whether such biases warrant specific therapeutic interventions.

PMID:
17330290
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2798076
Free PMC Article

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